The Easiest Way to Harvest Blackcurrants

It is early July, early evening and it’s cold.

The stove is lit.

The weather systems all over the world appear to have gone wild, but as I sit here, sipping tea and typing, the reality of life is more to do with getting the harvest of blackcurrants into the freezer!

Blackcurrants in the freezer at Bealtaine CottageI have returned from the kitchen with a cuppa and red-tinted fingers from all the handling of the currants as I weigh them into bags.

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrants in the Permaculture GardensWhatever the weather is like we have to adapt as best as possible and Blackcurrants don’t seem to mind any way!

There is no sense in this weather here at the moment, or in the fact that Summer in Ireland started in March of this year and ended in April…take a look at the blogs I posted during that time, bearing in mind that I take photographs on a daily basis, real-time so to speak!

However, life at the permaculture smallholding goes on in quite a pleasant way, harvesting, freezing and making chutney.

I have found that the easiest way of harvesting the currants is to cut whole stems and wheel-barrow them over to the veranda where I can sit quietly and harvest the berries, listening to the gentle tinkling of the wind-chimes…it’s pleasant work with lots of time for fleeting thoughts!

It saves a lot of backache and gives the bushes a good pruning too!

The sky seems to be perpetual grey blanket of cloud, with the very occasional peek through of blue sky and sunshine…very occasional that is!

It does remain fairly bright, being that this is the west of Ireland  and we are surrounded by ocean.

Visitors to Bealtaine tell me about droughts in western USA and torrential rain in England.

It does all seem rather mad!

I’m hoping for a beautiful Autumn!


  1. I was looking up Black Currants for United States, and wondering why they are not easily found because I wanted to grow some. Even when you look them up on the web, it’s “grapes” that comes up. Anyway, The forestry people (yes those people who cut trees and manage forests for timber corporations) said that Black Currant causes a fungus so they banned it from many states for over a hundred years in New England states. They are still banned in Maine. I say it is a fungus from Climate Change, begun a long time ago–Rachel Carson wrote about such things changing…like finding a little snail that never went farther north than Cape Cod, was being found in 1900s on the beaches of the Maine Coast (because the waters were warming back then). With all the moisture in the air at least on the northeast coast combined with warming ocean heat, it caused a fungus on the Native Dogwoods called anthracnose in the 1980’s. So now they import the Japanese Kousa dogwoods. I see all these black currants in your videos and think….this plant can’t be to blame for destroying the forests of an entire ecosystem! That would be like Bolsanaro in Brazil, saying that a medicinal plant that indigenous peoples use is destroying the Rain-forest. It’s just gaslighting. We all know who and why those forests are being destroyed–not because of a plant. I love your videos and like that you now include yourself in them as well. It’s interesting that when you talk to us in front of the camera, you slow down, take your time, and we can see by your expression how you feel about what you are saying. Your videos in front of the camera, and also behind the camera is a wonderful mix. It brings a candid honesty that I appreciate. Thanks.

  2. Just what I wanted to know – thanks. This is a new side to our life and despite the foul weather of late here in Brittany we have tons and I could not see how we were going to harvest without breaking our backs! Cheers, Andy

Your comments are welcome!