Aunt Molly’s ground cherry Seefs, Cape Gooseberry ,Certified Organic
Aunt Molly’s ground cherry Seeds .(Physalis pruinosa)
Also known as 'Cape Gooseberry', 'Husk Cherry' and 'Strawberry Tomato'. An heirloom variety from Poland prized for its flavor. Golden- yellow 1/2 inch fruits are excellent for pies, preserves, jams and fresh eating with a strawberry-like flavor. Productive plants 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide start fruiting in July and continue
Once a very common home garden crop but recently ground cherries have become increasingly hard to find. Grown by the Pennsylvania Dutch since the 1830’s. This Polish variety is the best tasting strain available. Excellent citrus flavor, can be used for making jams or preserves, pies, sauces, or just for fresh eating in salads. Bushy plants grow 24" tall and are extremely productive. Fruits are encased in a paper-like husk and will store 3-4 weeks under cool & dry conditions. 75-90 days from transplant.
- Certified Organic by MOSA
Ground cherries are really not cherries at all. They are members of the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes and tomatillos. Like the tomatillo, ground cherries grow inside a papery husk. When ripe, ground cherries turn bright yellow and fall to the ground. Though several varieties are native throughout the Americas and Eastern Europe (‘Aunt Molly’ is a Polish variety), ground cherries taste like tropical treats. Their pineapple — vanilla flavor brightens pies, jams, and chutneys. They are equally delicious eaten raw, dried, or cooked. Squirrels and small children are keen to ground cherries’ charms, so gardeners should keep a close look-out for ripe, fallen fruit.
How to Grow Ground Cherries
Ground cherries are frost tender and should be started indoors 6-8 weeks before spring planting in cooler climates. They’ll produce prolifically beginning 70 days from transplant, through the first fall frost. Good drainage and humus-rich soil ensure an abundant crop. Two to three plants grown in raised-beds or large pots will provide enough ground cherries for a season of tasty jams and pies, with a few left over for wildlife. Staking helps keep branches and fruit off the ground. Though they are sometimes susceptible to flee-beetles, ground cherries’ weed-like nature makes them fairly disease resistant. In addition to ‘Aunt Molly’s,’ tasty varieties to try include: Physalis pubescens ‘Cossack,’ Physalis pubescens ‘Goldie,’ and Physalis peruviana ‘Cape Gooseberry.’
Once harvested, ground cherries will continue to ripen, if placed in a well-ventilated container on the countertop. They will store for up to three months in a cool (50 degree) environment. They also store well when dried like raisins, either in a dehydrator, or by placing them in the oven on its lowest setting for several hours.