Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Soft fruit

I have finally come up for air from underneath the avalanche of soft fruit which has all come at once and as promised I will contemplate what we have done with it all.

Strawberries growing in the poly tunnel  have fruited well as they were keep warm in cold and watered in the heat.  Picked 4 lbs every day for about 2 weeks.  They have finished now (thank goodness) and I have cleared the plants back to a nice green crown to re grow and I am keeping the runners under control) Outside the strawberry plants in the open ground have not done so well, in fact I think the blackbirds have taken nearly all the ripe fruit there has been.

Raspberries started small but followed strawberries quickly and have cropped well - collecting 4lbs every other day!  The autumn fruiting ones have not made much growth and may well not fruit till well into August.

Blackcurrants looked dreadful with yellow leaves and aphid damage and have ripened in batches of a pound or so every two days.   I did not think the gooseberries were doing well but eventually a good crop was picked especially the red desert variety which are much sweeter than the green ones.

We netted the tayberries this year having lost them all to the birds last year and this has worked well. The plant now 2 years old cropped well.

Rhubarb had an early flush then stopped all together as it was too dry. It is only just making some growth.

Blueberries are ripening slowly and only a handful have been picked. Blackberry (thornless, grown on wires for easy picking) crop is full of berries and a tinge of pink is appearing.

So what did we do with the crops?

Gave away about 10 lbs of fruit.

14 jars of jam.  The tayberry jam is particularly nice  (2 jars), the raspberry set well (6 jars)  I still have problems with strawberry (6 jars)and just can't get a good set.  I hesitate to make more as we don't use more than one jar a month.  A couple may go as gifts.

2 demi johns of wine.  One strawberry (4 lbs of fruit) and one raspberry (3lbs  of fruit with 8 oz of leftover dried sultanas in the must for a sweet wine).  I love blackberry wine so I am intending to get one more jar going this year.  They are happily sitting in the space under the stairs.

Frozen fruit:
10 lbs strawberries
10 lbs raspberries
6 lbs blackcurrants
2 lbs green gooseberries
12 lbs red gooseberries
Just one box of stewed rhubarb.

Fresh fruit for lunches and tea.  Lunch tends to be freshly picked fruit with yougart.  Evening meals we have gooseberry, black current and Tay berry crumble and the same with a sponge topping.   I tried a tart with tayberry - the bottom is a rich pastry case and the tayberries were sweetened with icing sugar and simmered with a packet of powered gelatin.
I am envious of blogger "That British Woman" who recently listed 51 blackcurrant recipes. I may need several such lists.


  1. Wow what a wonderful harvest.f

  2. A fantastic harvest - all sorts of deliciousness.
    My trick with strawberry jam was to cook up one lb of gooseberries separately until totally squished. Then add them to the strawberries when they are cooked then the sugar.Made the jam set better and hardly noticable.

    1. That is a good idea! Must try another set from fruit from the freezer later.

  3. Trish that is fantastic and I can understand how busy you've been. I can only dream of those sorts of quantities.

  4. That is some harvest Trish-x-


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