Pick of the Week

I write this sitting on Miss MBaF’s sickbed (sofa). She’s curled up in her cosy little nest of cushions and blanket, sleeping off a horrid sicky-achey virus, while her restorative film of choice (Finding Nemo) plays at low-volume.

Hopefully her recovery will be as speedy as it set in. On Friday afternoon she was full of beans, asking if we could go to the allotment and pick blackcurrants! This is a job that needed to get done, so I jumped at the suggestion.

My special helper

After digging up and ditching one bush this winter, due to evidence of ‘big bud’, we’re left with two well-established blackcurrant bushes. The tallest branches have flopped over this year, which Mum suggested may be due to lack of water. This could make sense as they’re surrounded by weedproof matting now, and I wonder if they’re not getting as much of the rainfall as before.

An aside: Mr MBaF asked if I’d put the matting the right way up. I have no idea! Are they ‘one-way’? I need to investigate this further.

Anyway, we lost a couple of branches – which shrivelled up and died, fruit and all – but the rest were heavy with shiny black jewels, and they’d got super-ripe.

It seems I could add blackcurrant harvesting to my miniseries of Toddler-Friendly Allotment Jobs. Dressed in dark colours and non-best items, Miss MBaF got stuck in – and was suitably gentle with the easily-squished overripe fruit. She really seemed to enjoy it, even though she couldn’t enjoy the rewards straight away – unlike during the strawberry harvest!

Dog on cat watch. Toddler getting stuck in.

In total, over two pickings and two bushes, the yield was about 6.5 lbs. And some of the currants were the largest I’ve ever seen. I wonder if this is due to the fact that we started watering the bushes at their base when we noticed them flopping??

Washed and bagged-up for the freezer

I’ve frozen 2.5lbs for later inspiration and used 2lbs in a batch of jam. One of my proudest horticultural/culinary moments was winning a rosette (yellow, for 3rd place) for my blackcurrant jam at the village show a couple of years ago. I’m not tempted to enter this year though, the fruit was so ripe that it was difficult to keep any intact during the jam-making process.

I’ve also made two batches (2x 1lb of fruit) of blackcurrant ice cream, using an easy and delicious recipe my Mum sent me. Miss MBaF tried it for the first time recently, when we went to stay with the grandparentals. I’m guessing that explains her enthusiasm to get picking!

The first tempting batch of blackcurrant ice cream

What’s been good on your plot? Join in with Pick of the Week by adding a comment about your best/favourite harvest since last weekend, or a link to your PoTW blog post.


6 thoughts on “Pick of the Week

  1. That ice cream looks A-MA-ZING! Well done on your harvest, it’s great when the little helpers are keen to get stuck in (hope the little one is feeling better soon) Going to have a blast with the Pick of the Week..this week my best harvest has got to be the cauliflower I picked today. Totally unexpected as it was only about the size of a fist a few days ago but today it was huge! Didn’t want to leave it any longer as the outer curds were just starting to separate. Made a mixed veggie cheesy bake (cauli, broccoli, onion, mushroom and spinach) for tea tonight, lush!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha ha, my dog is always on cat (and pigeon) watch when she comes to the allotment. Great harvest, well done. I think the birds got to mine first, I only managed a small punnets worth. Hope your helper recovers soon. I’m mainly harvesting courgettes and lettuce right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helper is back to full cheeky strength – thanks for the kind wishes. Strangely the birds round here don’t seem interested in my blackcurrants, but if they get desperate we left plenty on the ground. I’ve had one teeny courgette and fairly measly lettuce pickings so far- so you’re well ahead of me there. Swings and roundabouts huh?!


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