Tag Archives: ground cherries

Oops, I Did it Again.

It looks like I won’t be writing that book on jam/jelly making anytime soon.  I’m still not sure WHAT I am doing wrong.  I used the thermometer again, but also the freezer test on the plate.  I cooked and cooked the heck out of this jam,  but it never “set up”.

The consistency is not as syrupy (is that a word?) as the previous peach jelly but not quite jelly or jam.  I suppose I should have kept cooking it.  Any ideas? Anyone?

Here is the process and results.

BUT.  I have to say this is THE most delicious something I have ever tasted.  It has the consistency of a really thick honey.  Still good on hot buttered biscuits or toast.

So what is it?  It is “supposed to be” ground cherry with chamomile jam which I found at  http://straightfromthefarm.net/  She has a wonderful post on this which you can read here AND she knows how to make jam!  She got the idea from yet another blogger David Matthew which you can read about here .

This has been a labor of love.    It has taken me two years to get enough ground cherry plants to make this jam.  Next year, I should have plenty as these ground cherries will be coming up everywhere.  (Note – they could be considered invasive )

My “jam” is much darker, which I think may be due to the honey I used.  My honey was much darker than straightfromthefarm’s.  At any rate, I will consider this a semi-success as the 6 cups of ground cherries were not wasted and this stuff is really, really good.

I am putting up my jelly making gear for the winter, but come Spring I am going to conquer this jelly/jam making business!!

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Holy ground cherries, Batman!

Specifically, these.

I have no clue as to what is eating the leaves.  Luckily, (so far) they don’t seem to be bothering the fruit.  It could be this guy (if you look closely there is a swallowtail caterpillar), but they don’t normally eat holes in the leaf, they eat  the entire leaf. (Here he is munching on parsley, which they love!)

I grew ground cherries from seed last spring and planted them.  They did really well, but those two little plants never produced enough fruit to make jam.  But, this year, holy moly, those little plants have reseeded and produced multiple babies.  ( I am finding them places I never would have dreamed they would be.)

I am hoping for a bumper crop (holy or not).  Here is where I posted before on ground cherries.

https://fromgarden2table.com/2009/06/10/whats-up/

I can just taste that jam now…

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What’s Up?

So, here’s what’s happening  at fromgardentotable.

First, the lettuce.   I snipped the leaves after I took this picture and made the BEST salad.  I realized by growing it in a container, the leaves were perfect.IMG_0441

Next, my purple hull peas are coming up nicely. IMG_0448

The cucumbers have taken off. IMG_0453

Bell peppers are getting bigger. IMG_0480

Jalapeno peppers are prolific.   This is the 2nd or 3rd picking.IMG_0500

Tomatoes are growing. IMG_0452

But, the most exciting plants are the ground cherries!  Just as a refresher, this is what they started out as. IMG_0103

One of the tiniest seeds I have ever seen.  The black seeds, on the left,  are poppy seeds and the  seeds on the right are the ground cherries.

 So, 2 of the original 6 survived and they had a rather  shaky beginning.  But, I noticed the other day that there was actually fruit growing under the leaves. IMG_0478

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Can you see what looks like little paper lanterns?  (I had to lie down on the ground to get this picture.)

These ground cherries are a “cousin” to tomatillos.  So, they have a papery husk on them like the tomatillos, which start out green (as well as the fruit) and then ripen to a golden color with a brown papery husk.  When they are ripe, they just fall on the ground, hence “ground cherries”.  Which I thought was mighty nice of them as some fruit/vegies are not so easy to tell when they are ready for harvest.  Hopefully,  the cherries will get larger and more prolific so I can make JAM!.  But if not, I will definitely plant these again.  It is so much fun to experiment with new plants. 

 What new plants have you planted this year?

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Oh Baby, look at me now.

As you may recall,  (or see post dated 2/20/09) I had planted some itty bitty ground cherry seeds.  5 of the 6 plants germinated.  So, I wanted to show you a picture of how they look today. img_0213

I am going to plant them in the garden this weekend.  I hope, I hope, I hope they do well because I understand the jam that can be made from these little babies is awesome.

I also wanted to show you a picture of my English pea plants. img_0191

Did you see the little blooms?  Can’t wait for the pods to form.

Ok, full disclosure.  My tomato plants AND most of the pepper plants are too leggy.  Problem #1;  I had too many plants for my light source (due to problem #2).  Problem #2;  I was unable to put my plants outside, to “strengthen” in their pots prior to planting, as our weather  turned extremely windy and too cold. (We even had a threat of frost.)  Now, the tomato plants I’m not too concerned about because  you can plant the “leggy” part of the plant into the soil and it will root and actually make your plant stronger. (and no one will be the wiser, hehe)  But, some of the pepper plants may not make it so I may be buying transplants.  Rats.

But, here is one pepper plant that is looking good.img_0207

Another update:  I fertilized my garlic which I planted last fall.  This will be ready for harvest this summer.  Yum.img_01731

And, as I was getting ready to cut back my salad burnet,  I found that it is getting ready to bloom!  So I am going to let it bloom to see what the flower looks like.img_0171

I was lamenting the other day about whether Spring was EVER going to get here.  Well, I think it has arrived.img_0179img_0182img_0184img_01961img_0178img_0177

How’s your Spring going?

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