Friday, August 19, 2011

Ground Cherries

A ground cherry plant.

These are my ground cherries.
Some people call them husk-tomatoes.
They're not ripe while attatched to the plant.
In fact, being in the nightshade family, they're toxic.
Both the leaves and the green fruits.
You'd have to eat quite a large amount to become very ill.
Still, I educate my kids and the neighbor kids.

Ripe fruits on my garden path.

This is the reason they're called ground cherries.
They'll fall to the ground when they're ripe.
It's important to harvest daily so as not to loose a precious one!
They're so sweet that, if I wish to save any for a recipe,
I have to scold my children repeatedly to refrain
from eating them.

Now it's just a wrong to deliberately prevent your offspring
from such delightful nourishment.
Thus, I welcome most any springtime stray,
and there will be many.
You only need to plant these once.
They're prodigious self-seeders.

They're generally very clean within their husk.

In this photo I have my basket of harvested fruits.
You may need to hunt around a bit
to be sure you're not missing any.
The children will be happy to help you with this
chore, for once.  Strike a deal, they may eat half of what they find.

I set the greenest ones aside to ripen.

My glistening yellow fruits!

The rest I freeze for my long-anticipated ground cherry recipe.

My cashe of frozen ground cherries.
Below them I've begun to collect rosehips.
But thats another post.

For two years I've been enticed by the idea
of ground cherry jam.
A friend of mine was good enough to give me her recipe,
and this is the year I plan to make it for our pantry.

~    *    ~    *    ~    *    ~

Ground Cherry Jam

3 cups ripe ground cherries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 package Sure Jel
3 cups sugar

Boil and mash ground cherries, lemon juice, water, and Sure Jel.
Mash well in order to absorb the sugar.
Add the sugar.
Boil according to Sure Jel directions.
Makes 3 medium jam jars.

Isn't this lovely?
Truly a golden nectar of the gods.
This photo is from Under the High Chair,
but soon I may be posting my own.

Here's to stocking the pantry, friends!
Get while the gettin's good!


  1. I'm jealous! Not a single one of my newly planted ground cherry seeds grew in our new yard this year. I'll have to try again next year. My daughters love these. Also, dandelions make excellent jelly - it tastes like honey with extra sunshine thrown in.

  2. I would love your dandelion jelly recipe! I'm sorry to hear about your negligent ground cherries. I hope you can find a nursery that sells them, I know they're hard to find.

  3. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.

    Landscape Gardening Norfolk & Landscape Gardening Norwich


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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!