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The big Cassissima® fight

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Text by Ranka Tessin

When blackcurrants are harvested and the gardener has scrubbed his/her blue fingers, then it's time for an apology: I apologise to all the Cassissimas® and to you, dear fellow gardeners, because I was wrong. I have been claiming that currants are THE super fruit for the cold, rainy, windy north (after all, they thrive in summers with continuous rain and 15 degrees Celsius) and now this: they have survived the first real heat wave and a two-month drought in my garden as if they were cacti and not berry bushes!

They are still living, though they were not watered, and they provided us with a super harvest when the grass was already dry – or rather charred – and the fire sirens continued to be heard because it was burning somewhere due to the unknown desert climate (keyword: thatched roofs).
Time to rethink: The currants are apparently used worldwide, even in hot and harsh climates. So this leads me to the question, dear Markus Kobelt, have you brought seed from the juicy berries to Spitsbergen, to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault near the North Pole, where all the precious seed of the world is frozen and saved in the eternal ice and after a global nuclear war or a meteorite impact the survival of humanity would be saved?

If not, pack up your winter clothes and book a flight to Norway. Wheat, corn, carrots, radishes – all that is also good, but mankind also needs something sweet to live on!

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Picture: Cassissima® Blackbells® - the variety with the most beautiful and longest strings

Speaking of life, my harvest of the Noiromas®, Blackbells® and Black Marbles® was a real struggle for survival. Due to the heat, some berries had already shrunk to raisins when I started harvesting. And I was all alone, after all, my newly hired assistant gardener hid again, as always, when berries were to be harvested. He suddenly has something super urgent to do away from home and quickly left the garden. Picking berries is not his thing; he would rather leave the job to delicate, feminine hands. He told me that and was not seen anymore...

Well, then, when the male gross motor skills had left the battlefield to the female fine motor skills and the bushes were devastated by the nets, wasps fell upon the thief (me!). I am terrified of wasps and always avoid them, but when it comes to my blackcurrants, I face the fight. There was a fierce fight for supremacy, and I suffered injuries, but the outcome was clear. At the Battle of Noiroma® no prisoners were made!

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Meditatively (to turn off the brain and let restful emptiness prevail) I succumbed to picking. Today, this is called "modern mindfulness" and there are also several (!) books on mindfulness in the garden. You really don’t need them: on a cool evening (when the neighbours are watching football and everything is quiet in the garden), it is enough to sit on a small stool in front of gigantic Cassissima® bushes and start picking. It takes a long time because there are just so many big, black pearls to harvest, very carefully and with dedication. And then it starts automatically: the dreaming, shutting down, turning off, listening to birdsong and watching the babbling bumblebees (if only all the yellow-striped wasps could be as peaceful as those winged teddy bears).

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After five minutes at the latest, you are in the state of meditation, believe me, and are glad that no one is there chatting.

That blackcurrants are my absolute # 1 berries (yeah, I like them much better than blueberries), you already know that well and I've often talked about their mega-superfruit qualities and life-prolonging properties. But do you want to know who my darling is? I tried all four varieties in my backyard last night: Black Marble®, Blackbells®, Little Black Sugar® and Noiroma® (Late Night® is not ripe yet). And it is, tadaaa! (here, please mentally make a note), the good, faithful Noiroma. Old love does not rust. Noiroma® is the perfect combination of the old varieties of blackcurrant (not edible in the raw state, I think) and the newest variety ‘Black Marble’, which is so sweet that it could actually be considered candy. However, my adult children love ‘Black Marble’ the most; our friends and neighbours, too, and then the second fight for the Cassissima® begins: everyone wants to have some of those sugary sweet, giant marbles! But I just like a bit more content and depth, i.e. cassis flavour. And Noiroma has both, cassis and lots and lots of sugar. I've already picked five, big baking bowls off of two bushes! Markus would probably say that I did not cut out too many branches at the end of winter.

But he probably has no time to criticise at the moment because he is on his way to the North Pole to store his treasures in the eternal ice for the benefit of future generations. :-)

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