Tag Archives: Preserving

Goldie Ground Cherry

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Goldie Ground Cherries

What is a ground cherry? Ground cherries are blueberry sized fruit that have a flavor I would describe as a pineapple flavored tomato with a hint of vanilla. How does that sound?

Ground Cherries are often compared to a tomato I think the only similarity between the two is the same timing of planting – after all danger of frost has past. The first year we planted them we thought they would grow with our tomatoes in our string weave system. We have also tried to cage them. We eventually discovered that ground cherries prefer to sprawl across the ground rather than be caged or staked like a tomato.

Harvesting Ground Cherries is pretty simple. When they are ripe they fall off the plant. No picking fruit off the plant. We lift the branches and gather the ripened fruit from the ground. This year we grew our ground cherries in our garden that we straw mulch. It has been a bit slower at harvesting them this year picking through the straw. I recommend using weed mat as a mulch for these guys – it makes harvest a flash.

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The ripe fruit falls to off the plant and are harvested from the ground

Ground cherries grow in a papery husk concealing the fruit. Pop them out of their husk with a gentle pinch. A ripe ground cherry with feel slightly soft when pinching it out of the husk. Goldie Ground Cherry will have a golden yellow color and look slightly translucent when it is perfectly ripe.

We like to make ground cherry jam. If making jam isn’t your thing try slicing or smash them up and add to a bowl of vanilla ice cream. You can also treat it as a sweetener to tomato recipes.

Check out this Ground Cherry Salsa from Straight from the Farm.

Straight from the Farm

Ground cherries

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Pennsylvania, autumn came trouncing in on a very chilly rain and seems to have decided to stay.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first person to roll out the welcome mat for sweater-weather and the golden hues of a sun low in the sky.  But this particular autumn isn’t so well behaved so far – it’s cold and rainy and leaves little room for those wonderful culinary creations that shine as bridges between the bounty of summer and the selectiveness of fall. 

Salsa ingredients all fresh and local

I was looking forward to offering up this recipe for bright fresh ground cherry and tomato salsaas a tasty way to take advantage of those last sweet little tomatoes and tomato-counterparts still left on the vine.  But now, with this drastic change in the weather, you may very well be only in the mood for soups and…

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Basil Cubes

Making basil cubes is an easy way to preserve fresh basil. The cubes are good for adding to sauces, soups or stews in the winter. You can also use basil cubes to make pesto. Here is how to make the cube:

> Remove leaves from the stem. Wash and dry or spin the leaves.
> Use a food processor to puree the basil leaves adding olive oil to make a paste. It’s about 1 tablespoon olive oil to 1 cup of basil – it doesn’t have to be exact.
> Transfer the basil mixture to an ice cube tray or small container & freeze. Once frozen remove from tray and store it in a resealable plastic bag or freezer-safe container.

A note about the ice cube tray – depending on the type of plastic it can stain the tray so you may need to have a designated herb cube tray. You can also use this method for other herbs such as cilantro, chives, mint or tarragon.