Ribes (Currants and Gooseberries) in Massachusetts

You may recall that last Summer I contacted the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture about growing Ribes on our property.  He told me that I would need a grower’s license, which is a pain to apply for, and anyway the variances from white pine stands will probably disqualify our location. I asked about gooseberries, and he said this law applies to all ribes.

So I gave up.

Just last week a friend did some further probing and found out that it is only black currants that are banned. Red and white currants, as well as gooseberries, are allowed in most towns in Mass., except for certain towns on this quarantine list. My town is not on the list – neither is his. I called up Nourse Farms (in Deerfield, Massachussets) and they said that, yes, there is some bureaucracy involved, but it will not hold up my order if I make it soon.

I’m upset with the Dept. of Ag. It took me some calling around to find someone over there to help me with my question, and after I left him a message it took him another month to respond, only to give me this misinformation.

But I’ll let it go to enjoy the fact that I can fill up all of our shaded, ugly chain link fence with currant and gooseberry bushes. Now, which to choose…

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  1. I’m interested in buying currants and goose berries. I live in the Hampden county and don’t mind traveling 20-30 miles. Anyone selling them besides the super market?

  2. Neither link works for list of restricted towns/counties and there does not seem to be a link on the MA gov. page either

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