Ep. 37 The Currant Situation

In This Episode

The idea of superfoods has been buzzing for years, but one berry truly deserves that title: the currant.

Neal chats with local farmer and restaurateur, Greg Quinn, who tells us all about the surprising history of this unassuming fruit.

Currants were made illegal over 100 years ago, and Greg is the one who got them legalized in the US.

He tells us the whole story, along with the legalization process, growing and harvesting techniques, nutritional benefits, and as an added bonus, some tips on mushroom foraging.

Topics Discussed

  • What are currants
  • How they grow
  • How to harvest
  • Why they became illegal
  • The legalization process in NY
  • Why he persevered to make them legal
  • Legalization in the rest of the country
  • Procuring Polish patents on cultivation
  • Bootleg currants
  • Mushroom foraging basics

All About Greg Quinn

In 1999, Greg Quinn, a culinary and horticulture expert, also known as WNYW’s “Garden Guy,” grew interested in black currants and founded CropPharms, located in Clinton, New York.

Working with leading experts in the field, he decided to attempt to bring back the U.S. black currant industry by first getting the ban lifted in New York State, giving hope to a struggling New York farming industry with the first, potentially-viable crop to come along in more than a half century. 

Greg Quinn was instrumental in overturning the original U.S. ban on commercial cultivation of currants in New York. He now farms this unique berry on one of the first currant farms in the U.S., and he has the only dedicated currant nursery in the country.

His passion for nature, gardening and cooking has served him well while teaching at the New York Botanical Garden and numerous other teaching venues for over 25 years and in his on-air roles as “The Garden and Nature Guy” on several radio stations, WNYW TV out of New York City, the B. Smith with Style national TV program, and more. 

Greg’s company manufactures and sells the first domestically produced, nationally available currant products in the U.S. under the brand CurrantC™ All Natural.

He has also written 8 children’s books, a meditation book for teachers and numerous national magazine articles. 

Mr. Quinn also ran and cooked for a restaurant in Bavaria, Germany. These days he enjoys his agrarian lifestyle on the farm in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley.

Resources

Dr. Neal Smoller, Holistic Pharmacist

About Neal Smoller

Dr. Neal Smoller, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist: and owner of Village Apothecary, an independent pharmacy in the most famous small town in America—Woodstock, NY. He’s also the host of the popular wellness podcast, The Big Mouth Pharmacist.”

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