[NAFEX] black currants and pine blister rust

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Fri Nov 13 17:19:59 EST 2009

Maybe I should have been more specific then just to call the PBR hazard
bogus.  I remembered reading a fairly convincing rebuttal of black currant
rust phobia but few of the details in a book I have on my shelf and I just
picked it up for a refresher.

The book is "The Old Fashioned Fruit Garden" by Ann Gardner and given the
woman's last name I think we should give some credence to the case for black
currants she lays out.  She questions whether black currants are actually
more susceptible to PBR than other ribes species.  She found no research
proving that blacks are more susceptible than other ribes to PBR and found
experts to be divided on this question.  She also points out that wild ribes
species are so prolific that any attempt at restricting them is pointless
anyway.  I would go further to suggest that if wild black currants are truly
prolific than they obviously would have done a lot more damage to 5 needle
pines by now then they have if they were important vectors of PBR.

Her final point is that there was never any ban placed in Alaska, and their
white pines did not suffer for this leniency.

I have no idea what to make of this really, but I love black currants and
think they are indispensable culinary dynamos- far superior to white and
reds as an ingredient in deserts, preserves and juice and much more
nutritious as well.  So my emotional decision is to grant all black currants
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