BLACKCURRANTS & REDCURRANTS
At Copas Farms we grow red and black currants. These are planted as root cuttings in the Autumn when in a dormant state on a raised bed. These will grow up to form a bush which can last for up to ten years.
The bushes are pruned in the Autumn to create a good shape and to keep the wood of the plant less than three years old. Ideally the stems of the plant should be approximately 30 degrees to the vertical so that the fruit is well presented and easy to pick.
Black currants are pruned into a stand-alone bush while red currants are pruned into a hedge formation and then supported by wires.
VARIETIES GROWN AT COPAS FARMS PICK YOUR OWN:
- Blackcurrants: Early Season—Ben Conan
- Red Currants: Early Season—Junifer, Mid Season—Red Lake and Late Season—Rovada.
PICKING AND STORING
- Pluck from the bush with the stalk, usually as a string of berries. This will keep the fruits fresher for longer.
- Once picked keep the currants cool.
- To retain freshness do not remove stalks or wash until ready to eat or use.
- Suitable for freezing.
Weight for weight, blackcurrants contain three times as much vitamin C as oranges. They also contain useful amounts of vitamin E, potassium, copper and solubre fibre as well as being rich in phytochemicals anthocyanins.
Likewise, redcurrants are rich in fibre and vitamin C as well as being a storehouse for active antioxidants.
- Red and Black currants (together with White) were cultivated in the sixteenth century in Holland, Denmark and around the Baltic Sea.
- During the Second World War there was a big push to grow blackcurrants in this country in order to provide a source of vitamin C that would help to keep everybody healthy. This led to commercial production and the fruits are today mostly used for juice.