Yes this can work but it will be probably be two or more likely three years before you have fruit. I find that gooseberry Hinnonmaki makes roots on branches that lie on soil and I have grown them on after cutting free of the parent plant, but I sold the plants and don’t know how they fruited. I would try it, it will give you pleasure and that lovely creative feeling.
One of the “senior” gardeners on our allotments takes cuttings of any soft fruit he can get his hands on – black and red currants, gooseberries, loganberries, Worcesterberries and Jostaberries (not yet blueberries, and raspberries offshoots we have loads of). He makes a slit trench with his spade, drops them in about 4 inches and about the same apart, closes the trench with his heel and ignores them completely. Every year he has at least ten rooted cuttings of each variety to help new gardeners. We also use some of the thorny ones to add variety and edibility to the site hedgerows. Crops are small the first season but seem to increase thereafter. The site is on heavy Nottingham clay.
Thanks to both of you. Working in selecting plants by taste. I guess that is probably the original way that plants were selected and it is a good excuse for a natter with fellow allotment holders. I love the idea of providing them to new starters as one of the issues that we have is that most dont carry on. Of 14 new holders last October only 4 remain active and if we can do anything to help them get started and stay interested it would be good.
I’ve always tended to refer to the ‘senior’ gardeners on our allotments as the old boys, but I like your description better, Sue – much more respectful and acknowledges the fact that they are generally senior in experience as well as age!