Ground cherries

Ground cherries ©Janet Allen
Ground cherries

Here's one ground cherry, but the plant is loaded with these little packages, which are similar to tomatillos.

This is another of those native edible plants that we chose to grow after reading about them in This Organic Life by Joan Gussow.

We grow the cultivar Aunt Molly's.

Young ground cherry plants ©Janet Allen
Young ground cherry plants

Here are some of the plants just starting to grow. They've quite susceptible to frost, so we have to wait until there's no risk of frost. Other than that, they're very easy to grow and very productive.

The whole ground cherry plant ©Janet Allen
The whole ground cherry plant

At the end of the season, we just pulled up one of the plants and picked them off all at once. Earlier in the season, we just harvest them as they ripen.

The plants sprawl a bit, so we try to leave them some room.

We never get all the cherries, so inevitably we have volunteers popping up, but we try to just plant the cultivar from seed.

Preparing ground cherries ©Janet Allen
Our grandson helping us take them out of their papery husks.

We don't often eat them raw, though they're sweet enough that they could be, but we really enjoy ground cherry jam. It has a flavor all its own, a flavor that can only be described as "ground cherry" flavor.

Harvest record

YR LB Notes
14 0
13 16 Always prolific; delicious jam and pies
12 9
11 9
10 20
09 12