I’ve made Gooseberry jam. I’ve made a couple of jars of sweet gooseberry pickle. I’ve made a few jars of a South Indian spiced gooseberry pickle. I’ve given gooseberries away. I’ve allowed the blackbirds to help themselves to gooseberries and I’ve not said a word against them…. There have been a lot of gooseberries. They’ve almost all gone now. Just two later ripening bushes left – and I have made a half-hearted effort to protect them from the blackbirds. (Although yesterday two of this year’s young ones crashed into the windows and died – probably overladen with gooseberries!)
In fact all of the soft fruit has done well – and didn’t seem to suffer from the killer frost earlier in the year despite my pessimism at the time.
The top fruits generally are poor. There will be fights over the few apples that escaped the frost and the very few greengages are not destined to make it back to the house. I will be watching for them to ripen and will eat them as they do. The pears might be ok but it’s a bit too early to be sure.
It looks like it’s going to be a phenomenal hazelnut crop. Although it doesn’t pay to be too complacent as sometimes the shells are empty and sometimes the weevil worm gets them…and for the very first year there will be walnuts (15 of them!)