Currant Update 2016
I’ve just finished mowing the currants for the last time before harvest. This May and June have been extremely hot and dry and I have been irrigating the currants for most of June. The crop looks promising but I do need to double or triple production in the next couple of years.
My new plantings are struggling with both the heat and dryness. Sandy loam soil is great for an early start but lacks in moisture holding potential. I think I will begin experimenting with side dressing manure on the new currants to build up both the organic matter as well as increase moisture retention. Additionally I will reduce my need for inorganic fertilizer as the manure will contain the required nutrients. I just need to create an applicator capable of doing this.
When I turned on the trickle irrigation (basically a tube with small holes) there were about 20-30 small holes throughout the lines that needed to be patched. Over the years I have noticed several hawks living in our woods patrolling the currant fields for moles. I have now learned that moles also enjoy gnawing trickle irrigation line for a small drink I suppose. In addition to my war on weeds, I am also launching a war on moles by encouraging as many hawks as possible to enjoy my healthy ,ole population.
As it stands now I suspect harvest will begin about July 12 and should be completed at the end of July. There will be plenty of frozen berries and jam available at the farm throughout the summer. Remember that we operate on an honesty self-serve system in the retail “former bunkhouse”.