When I first met Boyd from Transition Towns Bolton we swapped ideas, home made wine, and Jostaberry cuttings. It was whilst I was over at his allotment plot in Horwich on the other side of Bolton that he gave me two large plant pots loaded with cuttings from his three large Jostaberry bushes at the back of his plot. Boyd had also given away dozens of Jostaberry cuttings to his other friends too, this got me thinking about how his three Jostaberry bushes were creating dozens and dozens of other fruit bushes that would be growing all around Bolton, and all of this from taking cuttings from a few bushes, there is no cost, it is totally sustainable, and a great way of ensuring that large volumes of fruit would be available within the locale in the future. When I got them home I put the pots on top of the large outdoor wooden shelf in the back garden until it was time to plant them. Within a matter of two weeks the cuttings have suddenly began to sprout tiny shoots up and down the stems.
Creating abundance from established plants
After a rough and quick count it dawned on me that there easily twenty or more Jostaberry cuttings, and most of them had sprouted. Jostaberry, gooseberry and Blackberry are very easy to take cuttings from; one healthy plant you could easily expect to get around a dozen or more cuttings, which in turn will then become healthy bushes themselves with a little bit of care and attention. Take your cuttings during the winter and stick them in plant pots, I have taken and grown cuttings at different times of the year and they have taken, but its always good to keep to the winter cutting when ever possible
Sharing your surplus
There are now around 6 Jostaberry cuttings planted on one of my allotment plots, they are doing really well with buds bursting forth, I gave six of them away on our seed swap event in Bolton, and have planted a couple in a the park across the road from where we live, the remainder are going down to Bristol with me when I visit Mike, my permanent culture now partner in crime, and hopefully when Mikes cuttings have turned into full blown bushes, he will share his cuttings within his community.
For a permanent culture
Creating a high yielding perennial local fruit supply for the future can be done If people share their cuttings and plants, and those plants are shared and so the cycle goes. For the type of future that we need to see in terms of localized resources that are independent of the money markets that people are locked into, the sharing of fruit canes and cuttings really can make a significant impact on access to healthy and sustainable resources. For the permanent culture of the future that we would all like to see, acts such as sharing plant based resources should play a major role within our personal and community based activities.