The first of the fruit harvests has begun, and it looks like it will be a good year.
Red currants are ripening this week here in Vermont. I picked a pound off our bush this afternoon and there might be two more ready next week. That’s a little more than last year, even with the birds eating so many of them green. Rhubarb, that wonderful fruit/vegetable/stem, is not quite done because we’ve had such a cool, mild spring. Still, it’s never enough rhubarb.
Coming up very soon will be the fabulous raspberries planted by our house’s previous owners. This year will be the most productive by far and I might even sell them in the driveway if there are enough left after quarts and quarts of jam. Our blueberry bushes get better each year and we might have enough this year to avoid going up to pick in Charlotte. Or maybe not, we’ll see.
Sour cherries come on in July and I’m still trying to decide what to do with them this time around. It’s not enough for full production of juice, but it might be enough for a few quarts of cherries for pies. Our little “Reliance” peach tree is doing well, despite the late
snows and cold weather. The first time it produced fruit there were 13 of the most delicious small peaches I’ve ever had, so I have high hopes for the two dozen ripening this year.
My strawberry/lingonberry/cranberry patch has become overrun by evening primrose and spiderwort and I’m not sure it can be saved. At least not the strawberries, so I’ll have to rethink where they should grow next year.
I still long for an apple and/or pear tree that produces good fruit and might try to plan for that this fall. I may not be the world’s most prolific vegetable gardener, but I do love my fruit garden.
Currants with custard, anyone?
It sounds like summer’s bounty is glorious at your place. You inspire me to make better use of our own produce. I’ve chopped and frozen a whole drawer full rhubarb and tried new recipes – rhubarb upside down cake and rhubarb applesauce muffins. But the onslaught of Ben’s family reunions (6 this summer), always slows down my industry in the summer. And I think our raspberries will be prolific this year. What do you do with yours in addition to the jam?
SIX?! Whoooa. We make enough jam to last a very long time, both cooked and freezer varieties. We also freeze some berries whole. (It helps to have a half-chest freezer downstairs.) Then we invite the neighbors over to pick!
Ahem, there are a number of good raspberry recipes on The Virtual Goody Plate (it’s ok for me to spam, Maren likes me – http://virtualgoodyplate.blogspot.com) – raspberry white chocolate muffins, raspberry-lemon whoopie pies, raspberry-lemon pudding cake, wild berry bread, plus fresh raspberry scones are coming up and I just got a raspberry almond cake recipe I want to try. No shortage of good things to make, plus milkshakes are always perfect. Or dang, try the strawberry-buttermilk sherbet with raspberries instead. It could only be fabulous.
I am very, very jealous of your fruit garden. I spend a lot of money on berries all year, but especially in the summer.