Thursday, August 11, 2011

ground cherries

One of my all-time favorite things to grow in the garden is ground cherries.  More closely related to tomatoes/tomatillos than actual cherries, they have a mildly sweet refreshing flavor, and my girls love peeling back the little husks and popping them in their mouths.
 ground cherry plant from above
and below

 I ordered ground cherry seeds from Seed Savers Exchange on a whim a few years back.  I had never heard of them before but I love to try out new things in my garden.  It turns out that my great aunt used to grow them and they were one of my mom's favorites growing up :)  They're also super easy to grow.

When Sylvia is home, she takes her little basket out every day to collect the ground cherries and generously share them out with everyone else.

Last month Camille and Sylvia spent a week with my parents and this month they are spending a week with my in-laws.  They are visiting their cousins and swimming in their pool, going to the cabin, boating, fishing, and eating blueberry pancakes.  So, it was up to Ayla and I to harvest the ground cherries this week.  They're in the basket with assorted cherry tomatoes.

 Lemon cucumbers are one of my experimental garden try-outs this year (behind the garlic).  I'm trying out lacto-fermented pickles with them for the first time.
And another first for me, I am trying my hand at tiling.  Everything from using a tile-cutter to mixing the mortar has been a learning experience.  And apparently I didn't order nearly enough tile to do the whole kitchen so I'm going to be doing it bit by bit.

Here's a peek at the early stages...
 Other than playing in the garden and playing with tile, Ayla and I have been...
chasing chickens (her)...

and chasing butterflies (me)

Do you have any unusual plants growing in your garden?  I'm always looking for new things to try...

12 comments:

  1. save some ground cherries for me, we'll come down again this month for Pops to work on the electrical!

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  2. We grew ground cherries last year, and they were very interesting in taste that's for sure. Do you have any good recipes that you use them in, or do you mainly eat them fresh?

    I don't think we have any unusual edible plants growing in the garden this year, but do have a flowering sagebrush plant that after 2 years is finally blooming, and the flowers are exquisite. Plan to harvest the sage after the flowers die to make smudge sticks.

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  3. Julie, They get eaten too fast here to make anything with them, but I've seen recipes for ground cherry pie and here's a super simple recipe for ground cherry jam that I want to try out http://ayearintheheritagegardens.blogspot.com/2009/08/easy-peasy-ground-cherry-jam.html

    Mamacita, I will definitely save some for you!

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  4. I love ground cherries too. One plant that amazed me is wonderberries. Related to the garden huckleberry, but they are much bigger/bushier and more productive. From just a few bushes we get a LOT of berries. They look like dark blueberries and don't have a ton of flavor on vine, but when made into syrup or jellies (heated w/sugar) they taste AMAZING. And they are really easy to grow and self sow like CRAZY, which is nice to not have to plant every year. I'm still getting them all over my beds 3 years after I first started them...they would be perfect for just a big spot where you could let them grow every year. I got my seeds at Baker Creek...

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  5. I've never heard of ground cherries...interesting! We don't have anything unusual growing in our garden. Maybe next year?

    I love your tile!! The arrangement is beautiful!!

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  6. Oh, Denise, I might have to grow wonderberries just for the name...mmm, wonderberry syrup sounds amazing.

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  7. Oh, I just thought of a plant that you might not have, Orach? We planted it last year and it came back all over the place. It's a red mountain spinach. You can use it in place of spinach in any recipe and I think it has a better flavor than regular green spinach, which I heard was a hybrid. I have seeds if you want me to send you some:)

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  8. Your tile project looks like it's coming along nicely. It will be cool to see what the finished product looks like. :)

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  9. I'm so sooo very happy for your family. You guys are doing awesome! I love, love, love reading your blog and seeing your amazing changes. We are so grateful for you and all that you are doing/being...rock on Verdes rock on! Lots of Aloha and Love from the Rayes. We miss our Sunday gatherings! We'll try to call this weekend.

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  10. Thanks everyone.
    The Rayes- We miss the Sun gatherings too, but it looks like you all are having a lovely Hawaiian homesteading adventure :)
    Julie- I'd love to try Orach. Maybe I have some seeds you want and we could do an exchange. Green Zebra tomatoes perhaps or the lemon cukes? Anyway, my email is verdes (AT) gmail (DOT) com. If you email me, I'll give you my address. Thanks! :)

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  11. We LOVE ground cherries too! This year I'm growing Patty Pan squash for the first time and I absolutely love them. Last year I tried okra and too, love it! Plus I love your blog and I'm adding it to my reader! I'm so glad you commented on mine so I could find yours!

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