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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Growing soft fruits
...- Protection
...- Selling
...- Beds

For redcurrants, and for yellow and white currants, the aim in pruning is not the same as when working on blackcurrants because these currants fruit on old wood.

You can grow them as bushes or even train them against a wall or fence as a cordon. They are best planted in November. Cover the surrounding soil with straw up to one foot deep directly after planting. The shape to aim for when pruning is an open goblet.

Birds are even more cunning with their consumption of these currants. They actually consume the flower buds if allowed to. Tying black thread between the branches helps or the bushes can be put into a fruit cage. When the fruit is ready, pick the whole sprig.

Although the market for these currants is rather more specialist, it is there. Certainly if you make redcurrant jelly, it will sell very well in the weeks approaching Christmas. If the fruits are for retail sale, then as long as they are dry when picked they will keep fairly well.

If you are intending to make jam from any of the currant family, you will be faced with the time-consuming chore of removing the currants from their strigs. Freeze them, put them into a tin and shake furiously. The stalks and currants will separate, making the job much easier. There is no difference in the jam you make. If you freeze the currants on open trays they take hardly any time at all. Of course, if you are intending to make jelly then you can leave the currants on their strigs it will not make any difference to the final result.

Usually we put the remainder of currants left after straining them to make jelly into apple chutney. For this we have to go back to strigging the currants.