Currant - Ribes spp.

Currant - Ribes spp.

Who Are The Storytellers?

I know, this is going to sound strange, but plants speak. Sure they don’t use verbal language like you or I, but they are constantly communicating something very profound. If you spend time with a plant, if you sit and just listen, you will hear/feel/sense a story that is less 'I' and more 'we’.

"We don't just need stories, we need stories that are open to revision and self-correction.... If our stories are a way that the universe is coming to understand itself, we can delight in being an ephemeral part of that process."

Noise speaks too, and its stories seem to constantly surround us in our day and age. If you spend time with noise, if you sit and just listen to it, you will hear/feel/sense a story that is less 'we' and more 'I'. All stories help create and give shape to our reality. Stories and especially storytellers wield a tremendous amount of power.

"As you get older, you come to realize there are very few answers, but there are many stories. And how we love them."

And so, as I contemplate the genus of Ribes, and reawaken to these plants that have been forgotten, the question grows within as to who are the storytellers that surround us and what would happen if we changed those tellers. What if society put their children more in front of plants like the Currant and Gooseberry than the screen? What if instead of just watching smaller stories they could participate, touching, tasting, and feeling a much larger story? What if indeed the wild, the wet, and the uncontrollable were contemplated more than social likes? What if a stream is more powerful than what is streaming? What if a walk through the forest could create a more powerful story than any movie? And what if this walk did not have to involve a well-worn trail?

"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story."


Gooseberries and Currants are two very ornamental species that are far better known in Europe than here. Gooseberries have thorns, and Currants don’t, but both produce highly nutritious berries that can be eaten raw, but that are mostly cooked into a variety of jams, juices, jellies, and syrups.

Gooseberries are our favorite raw, as the taste is sweet and grape like, while Currants while tasting good raw, taste much better when cooked. Both species are highly nutritious, but one particular Currant, the Blackcurrant seems to have taken nutritious to a whole new level, being full of vitamin C and anthocyanins, which are said to be health promoting antioxidants.


While there are a ton of ways to use Currants and Gooseberries, there are very few ways that are as good as Gooseberry bars. Below is one example:

Gooseberry Bars