Ground Cherrries?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by jen74145, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Seedsavers has seeds for "Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry"... what are these? Look like tomatillos to me, but it says they are fruit, used in desserts... has anyone grown them? Are they fruity, or more like a tomato or tomatillo? :shrug:
     
  2. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've never grown them, but a good friend gives me a bag every year.

    They're yellow when ripe, with a husk.

    They taste sort of like pineapple, without the acid. Very sweet.
     

  3. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Do a search for "cape gooseberry" to find more about them. I've grown them here for 40 years, having bought perhaps 6 plants in 1966. They will probably continue to be here another 40 years after I'm dead! But I sure do love them!

    Martin
     
  4. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    I have grown them and ate them. Mine did well. It is a bushy plant that has them all over. I planted them at the end of the rows in my garden. They should be about 1 foot apart. It will fill in the gaps soon. The berry can be used in pies, wines, ect. I eat them raw. Just take the husk off and eat. It is a real treat. They are a kinda bland sweet berry about the size of a penny around. Once you eat a ripe one you will always have a small spot on the property for them. It is a chore to get the seeds out of the fruits for next years crop but fun.
     
  5. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    they grow wild here. probably there too, if you knew what to look for and not mow them down. they come up kind of late, and ripen as above. they are a family favorite- kind of pineapple-y. i dried some and they were ok but lost some sweetness. i have some in the freezer too, just to experiment and see what happens to them.
     
  6. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As Martin pointed out, once you plant them, they are with you forever. ;)

    I enjoy them very much, and they are so easy to grow. They like the same culture as tomatoes, and actually do much better than my tomatoes, now that I think of it.

    We freeze a LOT of them, and they are great dehydrated as well. Make tasty pies (though I like to add a bit of lemon juice to increase the tartness) and are a good addition to mixed berry jams.

    Pony!
     
  7. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    One thing to point out is that they do NOT taste good while still on the plants or if there is still a hint of green tint to them. They must ripen on the ground a few days in order to develop their sweet flavor.

    Martin
     
  8. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks all! Guess I'll have to order some... I swear, I love having my own garden again, there's only so much you can do on a teeny shaded balcony!
     
  9. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

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    I've never had these, but I think now I'm going to have to! They sound pretty good. I looked them up yesterday and found Ground Cherry is Physalis pruinosa and Cape Gooseberry is Physalis peruviana. So I have TWO good new plants to try! :)
     
  10. mommagoose_99

    mommagoose_99 Well-Known Member

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    I tried them and sold them at the farmers market. Harvest when the cover starts to dry. I tried to pick them before they fell off because then slugs found them. They did not winter over here in New York while some tomatillos did. I think our winters are normally too harsh for them. I sold them $1 a pint. The plants are very prolific. Thye sort of taste like pineapple.
     
  11. njmama

    njmama Well-Known Member

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    I ordered these seed last week. Great tips.

    Thanks! :hobbyhors
     
  12. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Well the dang things were weeds in western Kansas and I have certainly tilled my share of them under. Why not leave them you ask? Because they take the moisture from the next crop which is meant to be income.

    Expect many of you could simply drive through the countryside and spot some along road ditches.

    All of you can divide my share.
     
  13. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They're weeds here and spread like crazy. I let them grow because my chickens absolutely love them and I think the plants are neat. The neighbors think I'm nuts.
     
  14. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    Hmmm, I wonder if you could use them with rhubarb in pies? Because the rhubarb has the "tart," so maybe in place of apples or strawberries...?

    Fun plants to grow; carefree as can be, and they're a handy snack in the garden while weeding! Practically maintenance-free, too. Like others have said, saving seed is not an issue, unless you want to save seeds to trade. They do a fine job of self-seeding themselves. It's been a few years since I've had them, because of our multiple moves. One more thing on the list to order this year... :D

    Diana