This week around the farm, we've been harvesting tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and more, from our outside garden. In the greenhouse, we've been growing ground cherries in pots and they've been producing like crazy. Have you tried ground cherries? If not, you might be surprised at how easy they are to grow and how good they taste.
Ground cherries are also called husk cherries or gooseberries. They are relatives of tomatoes, and look a little bit like very small tomatillos. The fruits are small and grow inside a paper husk. We started growing them a few years ago and enjoy having a few plants around in the summer - the fruits make great little snacks and if you gather enough of them, they make great pies, jams and tarts.
Ground cherries are easy to grow. Start the seeds in early April, and your plants will be ready to plant out in the garden or in large pots by the middle of May. These are good plants for growing in pots. We have them growing in pots on a bench in our greenhouse so the fruits are easy to collect. The plants don't get very large, they will ramble a little bit, but you don't have to worry about them getting out of control. The little fruits are ready when the paper is dry and brownish, and they fall off the plant.
Keep your plants well-fertilized and you should have a steady harvest of ground cherries throughout the summer. You'll have plenty of the tiny fruits - enough to make a pie or tart, or a small batch of jam. It takes a little bit of work to unwrap all of the fruits, but you'll be surprised at how delicious your ground cherry creation is - it's worth the effort!