Saturday, July 18, 2015

Try This: Ground Cherries

My midtown son's neighbor has a frontyard garden and generously shares his bounty with his neighbors.  A recent share was a container of ground cherries - Physalis pruinosa.

Oh. My. Goodness!

This is a small, orangy fruit with a sweet-tart taste.  Some folks compare the taste to pineapple.  All I know is that the few that my son shared with me were gone in about 5 seconds.  Now I'm dreaming about them.

As you can see from the photo, the fruit is enclosed in a papery husk, much like tomatillos (Physalis philadelphica.)  You may be reminded of Chinese lantern, which is Physalis alkekengi.  All of these are members of the nightshade family (Solanaceae.)

Ground cherries are grown the same as tomatoes.  Start seeds indoors (heating mats seem to work best according to the comments I read) and transplant small plants as soon as danger of frost is over. Then just sit back and let the plant do its thing.  The seeds are available at many providers including Rare Seeds,  Seed Savers Exchange, and Territorial Seed.

For more detailed information - and a yummy recipe - click here.

This plant is definitely on my list for next year.  What's on your list?

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