Fruit-Picking Season Starts Now


Cherries, Blackcurrants and Gooseberries

The fruit-picking season in the kitchen garden has started in earnest. Yes, we have been enjoying some strawberries and raspberries up to now, but this is when it starts to get serious. 

Yesterday (26th June), I picked the Stella cherries (before the blackbirds and starlings got to them first) along Ebony blackcurrants and Whinham's Industry dessert gooseberries. The cherries were deliciously sweet with afternoon tea while the gooseberries were plenty sweet enough to eat raw with my muesli breakfast. Ebony blackcurrants are known for their sweetness and can also be eaten raw without that 'taking the roof off your mouth' sensation.

Today, I had a walk round the garden to see how the fruit trees and bushes were doing. The Concorde and Comice pears are swelling up nicely and should produce a reasonable crop - though possibly not as good as last year for the Concorde pears...

Concorde Pears

Comice Pears

Most of the apple trees are fairly new and still settling in; these are the Supercolumns bought from Chris Bowers a few years back. There will be few apples from the Red Windsor and Red Falstaff varieties...

Red Windsor Apples

Red Falstaff Apples

If you have to choose between growing pears or apples, then I would recommend pears because they are more productive, easier to grow and suffer far fewer pests and diseases. Should you decide you really do want to grow apples, then I strongly recommend Red Windsor - great taste and heavy crops. Modern varieties are usually more resistant to diseases so I would always plump for those if you can find one or more that you enjoy eating.

In a separate part of the garden, we also have Reverend W Wilks and Golden Delicious apple trees which are a 10-20 years old. The former only crops every other year (and this year is not that year!) while the latter had a bumper crop last year and seems to be in recovery mode this year with just a few fruits...

Golden Delicious Apple

Next to the Reverend W Wilks is our Nottingham Medlar tree showing a few fruits...

Nottingham Medlar Fruit

We used to have a couple of very productive redcurrant bushes but lost one to honey fungus in 2021. The remaining bush has flowered well and the currants are just starting to ripen...

Redcurrant fruit

 Our three Blueberry bushes are not great croppers, like the currants, though that may be down to my lack of proper care. I'm not a great fan, personally, as they are a bit lacking tastewise, but they are nutritious.

That just leaves the thornless blackberry and rhubarb growing along or next to a north-facing wall. The Livingstone rhubarb was only planted last autumn (2021), replacing a previously very productive but overlarge plant showing signs of rot, so we will not be harvesting any stalks this year. And I know, rhubarb is technically a vegetable, not a fruit!

Livingstone Rhubarb

Thornless Blackberry


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