Wild Edibles: Gooseberries

I love growing my own food, it’s something I learned from my parents when I was a child. One thing I love even more than growing my own food is foraging and picking goodies in the wild. This week the gooseberries were ready and this year’s crop was fantastic. I should clarify that gooseberries fit for a pie were ready. If you pick gooseberries for jams then you’ll want to wait a week or so until they turn purple, they’re a beautiful shade of green this week. The green berries are quite tart and not good to eat raw but they make a fantastic pie. When they fully ripen and turn purple they’re much sweeter (almost like a plum).

Of course we could plant tame gooseberry plants, they’re available at most nurseries, but why do that when we have hundreds of wild plants growing along creek banks and fence rows.

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This field is one of the first places I looked for gooseberries, the plants along the edges of this field always have lots of berries.

Gooseberry plants are fairly easy to spot in the wild because of their leaves. The leaves have a distinct shape and look much different than the leaves on other bushy shrubs.

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Look at all those gooseberries!

After a few hours of picking berries I had quite a haul! I picked enough for Mom to make a pie and can 4 quarts of berries so we can enjoy a few pies long after gooseberry season is over. I don’t have a kitchen (my house is still under construction), otherwise I would have used the berries myself.

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A big bowl of berries, stemmed and ready to go.

Gooseberries aren’t commonly known anymore, the delicious pies and jams that past generations enjoyed have been forgotten. If you’re curious what they taste like but don’t have access to gooseberry plants, try looking in your local grocery store either in the canned fruit or pie fillings. You may find canned gooseberries. Or if you have a dutch market near you, they’ll certainly have some good gooseberry jam. I hope you enjoy!

I’ll leave you guys with a picture of the baby chicks I bought last week, the little buggers are growing fast!

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The little guys are growing up quickly!

 

Cheers,

D

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