Berry plant and harvest report 2019


got 2.5 gallons of b. currants off my 2 consorts. the biggest crop yet from them. so far made 7 pints of jam and still have more to process. mixed in some raspberries half and half with 3 of them. its fabulous!


small but steady trickle of berries. Double gold and Fall gold are getting sweeter everytime I pick them. I am not too impressed with Monterey Strawberries though. I will remove them from the bed by the end of this season anyway.

Growing a bunch of golden berries from seed this year. Debating if I should plant them in the ground now or wait until next spring


I read that misshapen strawberries are a sign of low boron level in the soil, so I put a tiny bit of 20-Mule Team Borax on my bed. What a difference it made! Huge, perfectly formed berries after that. It only takes a little borax, though. Overdo and you can kill the plants.


How much is “a little” and too much?


Good question. I just sprinkled a little about with a spoon. Also did some 10-10-10. The leaves all turned brown and crispy, and I thought I had killed them. But they resprouted into huge dark green plants that produced prolifically. So start very lightly.


Surprisingly I have been harvesting Black Raspberries from Primocane fruit. It still has tons more. To the right is the 7 foot main cane, one of 2 the plant has. The other is 5 foot. To the left is a lateral branch with fruit forming on the tip.One of several laterals.

A close up of the lateral

This plant is a cross between Jewel and Niwot. I grew out about five plants. Three I scraped for various reasons, poor taste, weak growth etc. but this one grows well and produces very well. (another is still under evaluation) It had only one floricane this year (it is a young plant), yet produced ton’s of fairly large berries. A harvest from that floricane on 07-15-19. Of note too, is look how uniform the berry size is.

Interesting the primocane fruiting was passed on. The berries are better than Niwot. Still not as good as the summer floricane crop. Those berries were fantastic. I have yet to name it? So far it is a keeper. See how it does in the future. The plant shown is 2nd leaf this year (first harvest).


Love slightly underripe, still firm double gold


I picked 6.5 lbs of Aronia off of 3 bushes. There were a few lbs left when I was done.

I juiced them in a steam juicer, got 1/2 gallon.


Looks like a great way to process large amounts. I hope to process that many black currants. With the amount of plants I have I should once mature.


Aronia are much, much easier to pick than black currants, but aren’t nearly as delicious.


I’m trying a lot of new black currants and the Russian ones seem to have the most promise.
Can’t wait till the plants are big enough to compare decent amounts and see what I like best.


I like to make jam with the black currants. I’ve thought about juicing them, but once the fruit is picked and clean, black currant jam is very easy to make, and among the best.

I use just fresh berries and sugar. No water, pectin, lemon, or anything else. It’s potent and delicious, and nothing wasted.


I waste a lot making syrup, but I love the results. It allows me to consume cordials with syrup daily. For 1000 grams of berries I use 200 grams of sugar and 1 cup of splenda (it’s super light, maybe 30 grams). So some sugar, you could use honey instead. I consume so much it does not last long. I also do this with most of my berries except blueberries and strawberries. I can only eat so much jam. I will make jam next year. I still have some from last year. I like Tayberry/wyeberry jam as my best. A very unique flavor. But I may like black currant better. Never made any. I like to use pectin as I can limit sugar that way. All the sugar is a big problem. I will probably decrease amount in my syrup as time passes. Right now it’s plenty sweet. I could go more tart.

In my cordials I usually add other products so I don’t use much syrup. I may add some lemonade, or ice tea, or Crystal Light liquid Blackberry lemonade. Man this is so good with this! Just a small squirt is all that is needed. It seems to enhance flavor a lot. No sugar. The best drink though is 1 oz syrup, 1 oz vodka, 2-3 oz of lemonade, lot’s of ice. Fantastic! I add a lot of pulp to my syrup by pressing it through the sieve. So one needs to stir occasionally as the syrup is thick and heavy and will settle to the bottom. Although the finish is great if only stirred once. The currant taste becomes stronger as you near finish the drink, not a bad thing! I bet aronia would work too. I also use other syrups like raspberry, blackberry, tayberry, honeyberry, red and white currants, gooseberry. I like to add black raspberries to the honeyberries to sweeten up the more tart cultivars. Makes a very fine syrup. Any of these over ice cream is darn good too!


I understand about only eating so much jam, but it is great for sharing and familiar to people even if the fruit isn’t what they are used to.

I wish I could enjoy splenda, stevia, or any other non-nutritive sweetener. I just don’t like the taste, texture, or how I feel afterwards. Some are much better than others, but after consuming them, I pretty much always wish I hadn’t.

Syrups are nice, and versatile. As is strong/concentrated juice which can be used with sweeteners.

Honeyberries are outstanding after cooking and sweetening.


Just a note about sweetener.
My husband’s brother is badly diabetic. Four years ago we went to a family get together and I ate some of the deserts he made. On the way home the lower part of my face and my neck were swollen. My husband was driving and I didn’t want to scare him, so I used the technique I learned from youtube to reduce sinus and other stuffs, it didn’t work for that, but I was back to normal after half an hour or so. One of my brothers is a doctor and he said I should have gone straight to ER. The other brother told me I was allergic to the sweetener. I didn’t want my brother-in-law to feel bad so I didn’t ask him what he used. Since then I avoid all “no sugar added” food or drink. My daughter could tell when a store bought drink had sweetener because it remained sickly sweet no matters how much ice or water she used to dilute. That becomes more common nowadays, and she has to throw away the drink.
Maybe bad things just happened to me, sometimes I wonder if I am supposed to be a messenger or what. I simply hope no one has to go through that experience, it was horrifying.


Maybe your body knew that the artificial sweetener was toxic.
You absolutely need to ask your brother what he added so you can identify things that are toxic to you, there would be no offense to be taken from it as it is vital information for you.

I do think all of us need to be aware of our bodies effects and how much sugar we intake, Personally i try to cut my sugar intake to just fruit and honey as i probably consume enough that way and cut out as much already prepared food as possible.


Thank you for your advice.
My husband’s family has a history of diabetes so they don’t use much sugar. Since that time I would make or buy deserts with real sugar to bring, and everyone loves them, especially the spouses, it is so funny.
Yesterday I made 15 pints of jam with all the not good looking fruits including figs, grapes, plums and pluots using the hand blender. It tastes very good, much better than when I made them separately, and I only added three cups of sugar. My in-laws would get some too.


I still have to process mine yet this year. On no cal sweeteners I only like Splenda. The key is just using a little bit. I cannot eat or drink products with splenda. They use way too much. I can’t tell it’s in my syrup. By weight 2.4% of syrup is splenda. The sugar in it masks it well too. I’m close to being a type 2 diabetic. I’m not, and I want to keep it that way. I have to limit carbs and sugars always. Else I would not use it for sure. After long term use, the taste you mention, which I don’t like seems to go away. Still though I can’t consume products with it in it as they use so much it tastes terrible! Small amounts mixed with real sugar work better.


i do the same and also mix in sweeter fruits in with more tart fruits. I’m still experimenting on whats best. i believe in using everything in moderation . once i get enough b. currants i plan to try making the syrup.


Murky – bring some aronia juice to the HOS potluck in November – I am curious to try it.