Jostaberry harvesting

jostabushesMeet the parents. Last week you will have seen the lovely soft fruit harvest – black currants, white currants, gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries.

I thought you might like to get up close and personal with my most productive soft fruit. The jostaberry.

After all, I’m up close and personal to these bushes of groaning fruit every day, so why not share in the daily chores.jostahoiz

In this hot weather you will mostly find me sitting down underneath the bushes and hoping to hide from the heat. I can easily collect at least two kilos a day. And the freezer is full to bursting as I cannot keep up.  I don’t fancy baking and turning on the oven in this hot weather. I’ll wait until the weather breaks.

So the jostaberry.  If you were thinking of putting in an edible hedge that has room to grow, I can’t recommend this plant more highly.

In the photo above you can see the result of breeding the gooseberry on the left with the black currant on the right to produce some rather tasty offspring.  It has the plump size of the gooseberry but withojostahedgeut the spikes, and the juicy flavour of the black currant. A winner.

The only problem with this hybrid berry is that it is exceptionally productive. And doesn’t really like being pruned.

(Is that true? I have just spent ages on the internet trying to find out where this came from. I have been believing this for years.  No luck.)  So it will spread and grow in all mad directions.

The bushes are so successful in their spot that I can barely get in among them to pick.  So I will leave my big bushes alone but maybe try and cut back the ones in between to see if they really fail.  These were the ones I took from cuttings and planted. Obviously too close to their parents. jostapotager

And if the experiment works the bottom of the potager will look a lot less scruffy and I will actually be able to wade in without worrying about leaving juicy berry stains all over my white work short.  And as a bonus I won’t have to rely on second hand information about my plants.

I used to take hard wood cuttings every year and they too strike easily.

Ive stopped doing that as I’m not working for the Jostaberry Appreciation Society. But beware, come autumn or spring if you visit the farm, you may go away with a gift of a plant.

And in summer, a sack of fruit.