Black Currants 2017


I had two Ben Sarek bushes - one planted with a Myko Pak that grew twice the size of the mother bush in one season - and they drew aphids by the horde. If I managed to knock down the aphid numbers, they rebounded in 2 days and reduced the crop to a third what came from Ben More, Orphan and Westwick (which last stays a bit reddish when ripe and has more even ripening.)
I dug Ben Sarek out this spring and am trying not to envy those of you who find it doing good in your properties.
Next year a seedling will be big enough to yield fruit. I am curious to see how it goes, as there are several other volunteers I may re-plant this fall.
Still think Laxton’s Giant and Risager need to be tried. Their descriptions by Lucy Whitman ( in Oregon have caught my attention.


Picked only one cup yesterday from four bushes. Will probably mark tomorrow down as end of harvest for this year. Westwick ripened all its fruit within about five days, but produces maybe half what Ben More and Orphan give. Nice size currants, on average.


my consorts are nearly ripe. another week should do it.


If any of your currants are under patent, then this would present a problem, but if not, they are very easy to propagate. I cut greenwood pieces this time of year, strip all but the topmost leaves and stick em in the ground with a Myko Pak (or your favorite fungus inoculant.) They root pretty quickly.
I have also planted dormant cuttings - about 8-11 inches is plenty - in ground with Myko Pak in fall before the ground freezes. Leave a couple buds above the soil and lay mulch over 'em and watch 'em grow next season.


I’d like to get a titana bc for next season. Any have some rooted cutting they would trade for honeyberry?


Derek pm me


I’m happy to see so many of you growing and evaluating black currants, what a rich resource for information. I happened to pick up a bottle of black currant jam at World Market this spring, it was made in England and my family absolutely loved it! So I went out and bought a few blackberry plants so we can make lots more jam.
Speaking of jam, I made a batch of honeyberry jam this year and it too was very delicious.


So happy to see so many people here growing black currants. They’re absolutely a non-starter in my location. A relative of mine sent some preserves from Newton NJ a few years ago … delicious!


Have you tried growing a native clove current like Crandall, Richard? It might tolerate your conditions better than the European varieties, and it’s pretty good.


It’s dead when Santa Ana conditions deliver 90°F winds plus 5% humidity. The local yellow (aka golden) currant (Ribes aureum subsp.) fairs better but I’m happy to leave it for the birds.


Anyone familiar with Tahsis or any of the other McGinnis varieties?


I tried to track down Blackcomb a couple years ago, but nobody in the US had it. I’m not sure if I remember correctly, but I think one well known seller told me the breeders didn’t allow sales to the US.


The plants produce well once a few years old. Mine are fairly new. I have seen older plants and they were impressive. I guess in 4 years they reach maximum production, That is what Prairie Tech says. A large propagator of wholesale black currants.


made my 1st batch of consort currant jam last week. its my new fav.! i never thought i could try a jam that beats raspberry but the black currant does! can’t wait till my clove currant sets a good crop to compare them. got 2 aronia bushes loaded with berries just coloring up now. anyone got a good jam recipe for them? found one that uses rhubarb with aronia that sounds good but i want one that uses just aronia to compare tastes to my black currant jam.


For Aronia, add 5 lbs. of sugar to one berrry in a sauce pan…

Joking of course, but the few I tried off my bushes were so biitter/astringent I can’t imagine cooking jams or jellied with them. Maybe as a small addition to another type of berry they might add something interesting.


I made a batch finally too. I like it, really good, but doesn’t beat Carmine Jewel bush cherry preserves, that is the best. My tayberry-wyeberry jam rivals the currants too, Right at this minute I’m making red currant jam with fresh Thai basil (licorice flavored basil). I just harvested the basil 5 minute ago.


Great isn’t it? Strong flavor and one you do not forget!


Wow it came out better than I thought it would. The basil compliments the taste, not overwhelming, very interesting.


Probably better than you think. I find black currant to be quite different compared to fresh. Like the cooking unleashes hidden flavors. or changes the flavor. Think of cranberries, not edible at all in anyway uncooked. I’m not really experienced with astringent fruit though, tart is easily eliminated, not sure about astringency?

That’s probably true.


i just ordered 2 juilet cherry bushes from honey berry USA for spring planting. in the meantime when the cherries are onsale next summer , I’m going to buy a bunch to make some jam. :wink: