Mission: 'Currant Affair'!
A few weeks ago I was visiting some old friends who run the horse powered Abode Farm CSA in New Lebanon NY. One of them works part time at near-by Micosta Enterprises, a diverse berry farm growing all manner of uncommon fruit - cornelian cherry, hardy kiwi, seaberry, currents, aronia, blueberry, gooseberry, quince and more for wholesale and processing into nutrient dense & tasty syrups and extracts. He mentioned that they'd be pulling out a whole long row of black currants to make room for blueberries for some economic reason or another. The whole row (50 or more) currants would be composted!
Inspired, and looking for an excuse to return, at the appropriate day, a few of us HYS volunteers returned in a 15' UHaul. Over a long, sunny afternoon we dug up 50+ black currants - 'Ben Sarek', 'Titania', and other varieties, and mulched them in on a tarp in the truck. We also scored a bunch of red currants, gooseberries and potted apples and trees that needed homes. We schlepped these back to northampton, where we soaked them and mulched them again. Loaded with fruit, close to midsummer, it was the worst time of year to transplant them, but it was then or never. After harvesting some berries and pruning them back by 50%, I think they will do OK!
These got ALL planted out over the next few days, along the Help Yourself plantings on the Manhan Rail Trail (b/t Conz and Pleasant St., and across Old S St. from Soo-ra Restaurant), at the Hampshire Council of Governments lawn, and heeled in elsewhere. Many of these bushes were divided 2 or 3 times, so all told, 75 currant bushes were put in at public plantings in the area, which will, of course, yield countless cuttings and berries over the coming years.
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