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Currants typically ripen over a 2 to 3 week period. Fully ripe currants possess the characteristic color of the variety (red, white, or black), are slightly soft and juicy.  For jellies and jams, harvest currants before the berries are fully ripe. Fruit harvested for jellies and jams should be well colored, but still firm. Natural levels of fruit pectin are higher in berries that are not fully ripe. Harvest currants by picking the fruit clusters (strigs) rather than the individual berries. After picking, the individual berries can be stripped from the stems.  Currants can be stored in the refrigerator at 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately two weeks.  

Source: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach