Ripening blackcurrants

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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Primrose
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Ripening blackcurrants

Postby Primrose » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:57 pm

Have run out of protecting netting and notice blackbirds already pecking at my semi ripe blackcurrants, so as they've already nicked my of my remaining strawberries I wasn't giving them second helpings,

Have picked them and am going to try and fully ripen them on a sunny windowsill. Any thoughts on other or better ways of finishing the process and still keeping them fresh?
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Re: Ripening blackcurrants

Postby robo » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:43 pm

I've found that this year the strawberries are turning into mush very quickly
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Ripening blackcurrants

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:15 pm

I can't help you with whether they will continue to ripen when picked as I've never tried it but would be interested to know if they do. I would think the problem would be if you keep them warm to ripen they might shrivel up and if you keep them cool they won't ripen very quickly.

I've made an effort this week and covered the raspberries, blueberries and blackcurrants with nets so hopefully I'll get my share this year.

I bought some new nets this year, the soft knitted kind which drape nicely over the crops.
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Re: Ripening blackcurrants

Postby Primrose » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:03 am

I,m going to cover the tray with cling film in the hope that this might help prevent them shrivelling up and drying out.
However I did notice yesterday evening that a load of black ants had apparently migrated in with the blackcurrants, had escaped from the tray and were running around all over the window sill. Grrh !
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Re: Ripening blackcurrants

Postby Primrose » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:20 pm

A warning for anybody attempting to go this route. DON'T !

A lot of condensation formed under the clingdilm which was intended to stop the berries drying out. i put them out on the patio In full sun for a few hours under the clingdilm to prevent them from drying out and also to prevent curious blackbirds and wood pigeons coming to help themselves. Instead they slowly steamed in the heat, went strawberry colour instead of black and ended up tasting of plastic! I had to throw them away.
Back to the drawing board! There are a few left on the bushes so I and the birds will be competing for them if they make it to ripeness.
Last edited by Primrose on Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ripening blackcurrants

Postby Westi » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:00 pm

How about instead of netting make some flags of cut up plastic bags or something on top of canes around the bushes, that will catch the wind, or even bottles with 'wings' to rattle & disturb the birds - or both?
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Re: Ripening blackcurrants

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:26 am

I've got the giant spotted windmills strategically placed round the peas etc. The Home Bargains shop sells them for about £3.99. It might just be good luck but they've kept things away so far. I tried sparkly, twisty things hanging in the cherry Tree last year but the birds completely ignored them and ate the lot.

I must remember to get the wasp traps out too to hang in the plum trees and by the grape vines later on. The grapes were very small last year and the wasps got them while I was waiting for them to ripen.
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Re: Ripening blackcurrants

Postby JohnN » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:15 am

Looking forward to picking a good crop of blackcurrants, but not the long, pernickety job of preparing them for eating and freezing. Can anyone suggest any way one can use them without topping and tailing? All I can think of is just crushing the juice out and throwing the rest away. Thanks.
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Re: Ripening blackcurrants

Postby Primrose » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:31 am

Sorry John. yes it is fiddly Can't come up with an easy way. It depends on what you want to do with them. I just sit at the garden table with a pair of spare nail scissors and snip all the manky stalk bits off onto a separate small tray, put the fruit into a colander, rinse and dry the fruit before freezing.

If you want to use them for syrup, just pull off the main stalks but don't worry about removing the dried "tail"bits. Just rinse the fruit lightly to clean off any dirt and dust or residual tiny insects and put the whole lot in a pan with the required amount of water. I freeze my fruit juice in one pint plastic milk bottles but If you want small quanties for just pouring over desserts like ice cream the small Benecol or Activia plastix pots are ideal.

If you grow gooseberries, small nail scissors are ideal for topping and tailing the fruit.
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