Saturday, August 4, 2007

Plant gooseberries! (please)

In 2002 I went to Sweden for a plant conference and the friends I stayed with asked me to go out to the backyard and pick some gooseberries for a pie. I had no idea how thorny gooseberry bushes are (very!) but after tasting that pie I realized every prick from every thorn was worth it. And it was probably the easiest pie I've ever made: throw the berries in a crust, pour over a little flour and sugar, a few dots of butter, add a top crust (or not) and voila!

I've never forgotten how delicious it was. Which is why when a friend in my Master Gardener class said he had a gooseberry that had put out some suckers (young plants sprouting from the roots of the parent plant) I jumped at his offer to share! I planted the suckers last spring, and got a crop that very first year. This year the bounty has tripled or quadrupled.

Here are a few wonderful things about gooseberries:
1) beautiful to look at
2) delicious
3) grow in light shade (most fruits and vegetables need full sun)
4) good in containers (mine's in a half whiskey barrel)
5) deer don't eat them
6) unusual

So tomorrow I'm going to make gooseberry pie. It's truly seasonal, truly local, and what could be better than that?


At August 5, 2007 at 8:07 AM , Blogger Leda Meredith said...

This definitely makes me want to add gooseberry to my garden! My red currants do well for me, and since their requirements are similar I imagine gooseberry would, too.

At August 6, 2007 at 1:39 PM , Blogger molly said...

you know, el, you highlight nature better than anyone i've ever met.

At August 7, 2007 at 8:30 PM , Blogger Christina said...

those gooseberries are so nice looking!

At August 15, 2007 at 6:54 PM , Blogger nznetwork said...

Hey Ellen
I'm in the south of New Zealand (South Pacific)where we grow a lot of gooseberries. Curiously enough, despite the thorns, my dog eats gooseberries from the bush! We also grow Wostershire berries, a cross between gooseberries and black currants - deliscious plus! The birds murder them though. I specialise in apples. If you would like to take a look I blog at:


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