Currants still on their vines 

Currants still on their vines 

Now that the cherry trees are finished producing fruit, the American Red Currants (Ribes rubrum) are providing one of their many contributions to the courtyard. The red currant bushes are located at the top of the hill on the South Side berry thicket, which helps protect against soil erosion. When placed in the right conditions (which the South side provides) the red currants require little maintenance and become vital to our ecosystem. Now early July, many of the red currants’ flowers have matured into a beautiful semi-translucent red fruit with some still to come.

Since the Mugwort and Mint wine fermentation is underway, we decided to try making jam for the first time. It turns out that red currants already have a high amount of pectin, which makes for an easy process. First, we picked the currants while still leaving plenty for passerby, such as groundhogs and birds, who help spread the seeds and enjoy these fruits too.

After picking nearly half a gallon of fruit, we crushed and subsequently boiled the combined fruit and sugar to help the congealing process. Finally, we placed the jam-to-be in sterilized glass jars and left them overnight in a cool place. 

The next morning, we had delicious jam to eat and give to others!

What to look forward to: the elderberries have just set fruit, which will be ready to eat by the end of July.

The final result!

The final result!

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