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A mix of red and white currants. When they are ripe, we have a hard time keeping up with their sheer abundance!

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A mature red currant bush, with the berries just starting to ripen from yellow to red. This one is about 5' tall, which is the maximum height.

Currants & Gooseberries (Ribes)

 

We're crazy about currants and gooseberries here at Hundred Fruit Farm! We were first introduced to these berries while living in Sweden, where almost every yard had a currant bush or two. Being resistant to deer and having very little pest problems, they thrive equally well here as they did in Sweden. Red, white, and pink currants are all the same species (Ribes rubrum) and have the same growth habits, growing to about 3-5 ft tall and wide. Black currants (Ribes nigrum) are a separate species, growing slightly taller at 3-6 ft tall. Red/white currants are better for fresh eating, but black currants have a more complex flavor. Gooseberries are similar to currants, but the plants have thorns and produce much larger berries, with a more grape-like flavor and texture. All currants and gooseberries are excellent for juices, pies, jams, jellies, drinks, etc.

All currants and gooseberries are self-fertile, but they are so good it's hard to limit yourself to just one plant! Currants and gooseberries love partial shade to full sun. They seem to thrive best in moist, rich garden soil with a tiny bit of shade, but we also have mulched rows of currants doing very well on our farm out in 100% full sun. They enjoy moist soil but like most berries won't tolerate consistently wet conditions. They are quite deer resistant, as they are among the last plants deer will choose to eat, but it's a good idea to protect very young and small plants until they can establish themselves. Once established, deer should never be a problem for most people. 

We carry many cultivars of currants and gooseberries here at HFF, and each year we add more to our collection! In 2024, we should have some new black currant, red/white currant, and goosberry cultivars in addition to the ones listed below.

Living right near the New Jersey border, we think it's important to mention that black currants are only allowed to be grown in New Jersey with a permit because of the perceived risk of spreading white pine blister rust to white pines. In our opinion, this risk is very minimal because most modern black currant cultivars (including the ones we grow) are very resistant to this disease. And for this reason, Pennsylvania has decided not to impose any restrictions on growing currants. Red/white currants and gooseberries are allowed (without a permit) almost everywhere in New Jersey except for certain townships in the extreme northern portion of NJ (see map below).

If you live in a state other than PA/NJ, you may want to check the laws and restrictons on growing currants where you live.

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'Amish ' Gooseberry - Ribes uva-crispa x hirtellum 'Amish'

Also known as 'Amish Red', these gooseberry plants are highly vigorous with very sturdy, upright canes. Fruits are medium-sized, deep red with good flavor when they ripen in July. Yields are high due to disease resistances, including to powdery mildew.  

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Black Velvet' Gooseberry - Ribes uva-crispa x divaricatum 'Black Velvet'

Black Velvet is a hybrid between European gooseberry and a currant species from Western North America. Produces dark red, sweet, high quality fruit with a superb, almost blueberry-like flavor.  High vigor, great disease resistance, excellent flavor, self-fruitful. 

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Blanka' White Currant - Ribes rubrum 'Blanka'

Blanka (sometimes spelled 'Blanca') is a Slovakian cultivar that yields long clusters of large, juicy, sweet, and flavorful translucent-white berries. Thought to be the highest-yielding white currant cultivar, it is a late season cultivar that ripens in early to mid July in our area. Each plant will produce over 7 lbs of fruit when mature.

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Captivator' Gooseberry - Ribes uva-crispa x hirtellum 'Captivator'

Captivator is a hybrid of American and European gooseberry species. Plants are cold hardy, disease-resistant, and produce large, flavorful fruits that ripen to a dark red. Plants are semi-thornless. This is a great all-purpose variety that's also delicious eaten out of hand. Ripensn in mid-summer, a week before Jeanne.

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Consort' Black Currant - Ribes nigrum 'Consort'

Probably the most widely-grown black currant cultivar in this country, Consort is a black currant cultivar known for its strong resistance to white pine blister rust. It bears heavy crops of juicy aromatic fruit for fresh eating or made into preserves or juice. Consort is also one of the few cultivars of black currants NJ allows people to grow (with a permit). 

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Hinnomaki Red' Gooseberry - Ribes uva-crispa 'Hinnomaki Red'

Hinnomaki Red is a Finnish gooseberry cultivar which bears abundant crops of smallish berries that ripen early to mid-season with perhaps the best flavor of all gooseberries - tart/sweet and complex. Berrries turn red when they are ripe. Plants are not very erect and stay small, only growing to about 3 feet tall. 

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Jeanne' Gooseberry - Ribes uva-crispa

Jeanne is a sweet, full-flavored, very productive dark red dessert gooseberry with multiple disease resistances! It is the most resistant to powdery mildew of any cultivar and is also very resistant to White Pine Blister rust. It shows less defoliation from sawflies than other gooseberry cultivar. Jeanne ripens and blooms late, a week or two after Invicta and Captivator. The bush is upright and grows only to about 3' tall and wide, but still offers 4 pound of yield per plant. Excellent for both home and commercial plantings. Introduced in 2006 by the USDA Germplasm Repository in Corvallis Oregon.

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Jonkheer van Tets' Red Currant - Ribes rubrum 'Jonkheer van Tets'

Jonkeer van Tets is a Dutch introduction (if the name didn't already give this away) that produces heavy crops of medium-sized dark red, finely-flavored fruit. The earliest-ripening cultivar we know of, it tends to grow in more of a bush-like upright form than other red currants, making it very easy to pick from. Ripens in mid-June.

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Josta' Jostaberry - Ribes × nidigrolaria

Not technically a currant, but a black currant-gooseberry hybrid, Josta produces red-wine-colored berries the size of gooseberries, but without the unpleasant thorns of gooseberries.  The taste is reminiscent of gooseberry with undertones of black currant. Resistant to white pine blister rust, but faces the same restrictions in NJ as black currants. Ripens in July. 

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Pink Champagne' Currant - Ribes rubrum 'Pink Champagne'

Our favorite currant cultivar at Hundred Fruit Farm, Pink Champagne is a vigorous cultivar that produces the tastiest and most beautiful berries of all currants. The berries are translucent with a pink blush - absolutely exquisite! Crops are abundant and ripen in late June, in between Red Lake and Blanka. We have a hard time keeping this cultivar in stock because it's always so popular among customers!

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Red Lake' Red Currant - Ribes rubrum 'Red Lake'

Perhaps the most widely-planted currant cultviar in North America, Red Lake is known as a reliable producer of abundant cherry-red strings of berries. It is among the earlier-ripening cultivars, usually in mid-June and lasting for several weeks into early July. It absolutely thrives in our area and is about as bullet-proof as any berry can be in terms of pests and problems.  

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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'Rovada' Red Currant - Ribes rubrum 'Rovada'

A very productive cultivar from the Netherlands, where it is the number one cultviar. Rovada is a lot like Red Lake, producing long strings of large, cherry-red berries, but ripens much later usually in mid to late July after most other cultivars are finishing up. An excellent cultivar to pair with earlier cultivars to extend the currant season as long as possible.

3.5" pot = $12

1 gal pot = $20

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