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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Growing soft fruits
...Raspberries
...- Protection
...- Selling
...Strawberries
...- Beds
...Blackcurrants
...Redcurrants
...Gooseberries
...Blackberries
...Blueberries

Growing soft fruit is a traditional country occupation that has spread to suburban gardens and town allotments.

Strawberries, raspberries and currants all taste of Summer and part of the joy of picking and stalking these fruits is the delicious juice that stains. Convert the fruit into jams and jellies and you have captured the flavour of Summer for the winter.

Making preserves is another traditional country pursuit that has gone into urban kitchens. You can grow the fruit on an allotment, take it home and make jam that is quite indistinguishable from that made by the country dweller who simply walks up the garden.

If you do not have plants that are already established and growing, you have one of two choices: you can either plant from scratch or you can bypass that bit and buy the fruit from a local market. Either way the aim is to put the finest available fruit into the preserving pan. Fine jelly is made from fine fruit. When you are picking the fruit it is always worth picking at the peak of perfection: there is no point in letting the plant work on to produce overripe fruit that energy is put to better use producing another berry.

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