Gooseberries and Currants

Thu. Apr. 27, 2017

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Gooseberries and Currants

Amid the world of raspberries and strawberries come a couple of tarts worth a go!

Gooseberries and Currants are closely related, they’re also prevalent in Minnesota.  They’re tolerant of most types of soil, some shade tolerance but do best in sun.  Don’t plant under the shade of a tree as they’ll compete too much for moisture.

The gooseberries you mostly see are green but the University of Minnesota came up with this cultivar in 1957.  ‘Welcome’…

Gooseberry 'Welcome'

A tried and true abundant producer.  Red, sweet-tart berries ripen on long curving branches in late spring or early summer.  Eat fresh or use in pies and jams.  Fruit freezes well.  More shade tolerant than other varieties.   Hardy to -40°F.   Grows to 3 feet tall and about 5 feet wide.

In 1933 the University of Minnesota created ‘Red Lake’ currant – it’s still the top seller.

Currant 'Red Lake'

 Large and juicy red berries ripen in late spring through the summer months, with intense flavor ideal for making preserves. Red berries, although tart, can be eaten fresh picked and are attractive to birds. With showy, bright red fruits and aromatic leaves, vigorous bushes make attractive hedges in the garden. Best grown in rich, well-drained soil. Very resistant to White Pine Blister Rust. Very high in vitamin C.  Grows to 5 feet tall with a 3 foot spread.
For Currant recipes click on this link to Food.com.  And here’s a link to Gooseberry recipes.   Here’s a little tease…
red currant muffin

red currant muffin