Finding some time for the produce

It’s never easy combining a full-time job with the various smallholding tasks but it’s particularly difficult at this time of year when everything is growing like mad and providing edible produce. Thankfully I haven’t bothered to mention the courgettes this year because the blog readers would be as sick of them as we are at the moment!

For some reason, this year our redcurrants have been ignored by the wildlife so we actually managed to get a half decent crop from the 2 bushes. This was our first ever crop of redcurrants because in the past I’ve left them as a sacrificial crop so that the blackcurrants didn’t get taken.

A quick first attempt at a redcurrant cordial proved to be very successful with some of them but the rest have been frozen and will be dealt with when there is more time available.

Surprisingly good redcurrant cordial
Surprisingly good redcurrant cordial

It’s now the turn of the blackcurrants to be harvested and they’ll also end up in the freezer for now but I’d rather that than lose them completely. Next year may be even better as I took 5 or 6 cuttings when pruning the blackcurrants and it looks like most if not all of them have taken very well.

And as an extra bonus for this summer, there is even a (very small) harvest to come from the blueberry bush which had been considered as a completely lost cause last year. It was transplanted in the spring and given some TLC which appears to have done the trick

All I need now is a recipe that uses only 3 blueberries…

It’s all go here…

The latest batch of arrivals to turn up are part of the plan to replace some lawn with more productive plants and thus cut down on the time spent cutting  the grass! This time around we have 6 fruit bushes  made up of 2 each of Blackcurrant (Ben Lomond), Blueberry (Duke) and Redcurrant (Junifer).

Although the planting site for these bushes is already decided, I’ve not yet made my mind up about the precise arrangement . For example, should I keep each pair of plants together or is it better to take a more random, pick ‘n’ mix approach?

I suspect the choice doesn’t matter too much at this stage and I’m more concerned that they get well established through their first year. I expect to be propagating from the more successful of these in future years so I hope the planting goes well this weekend.

While I’m on the subject, is there a collective noun for a group of fruit bushes? I’ve already established that our 5 fruit trees can be called an orchard but is there a similar term that applies to fruit bushes?