Just like tomatoes, we started the ground cherries inside 3-8 weeks before the last frost. We were surprised how slowly the seedlings grew and a little concerned when we put them in the ground and they were still so tiny. The photo below shows the ground cherries (in front) and the tomatoes in April (they were both planted at the same time).
Within a few weeks of putting them outside, they got BIG. We have about 8 plants outside at the moment. The single ground cherry plant in the photo below is our biggest.
Starting at the beginning of August, the ground cherry husks started to brown and drop to the ground. We've been harvesting them off the ground and putting any green ones on a windowsill for a day. Husking these little fruits has been one of our favorite activities lately (perfect for little fingers).
The fruits are golden and a tad sweeter then tomatoes, with a bit of citrus flavor.
Here's today's fresh ground cherry salsa recipe:
Ingredients: adjust the amounts by your preference and what's available
- several tomatoes
- a few cloves of garlic
- ground cherries
- onion (1)
- a squeeze of lime juice
- a drizzle of honey
- a bit of salt
- a pepper (optional)
Dice the tomatoes, garlic, ground cherries, onion, peppet, and cilantro. Put in a strainer to let out some of the tomato juice (skip this step if you like really juicy salsa). Mix in the honey, salt and lime juice and serve. If you aren't serving right away, leave out the honey, salt, and lime juice until right before serving.
Here are a few more ground cherry recipes we'll be trying soon:
Ground Cherry Pie
Ground Cherry Jam
Ground Cherry Marmalade
Ground Cherry Coffee Cake
Ground Cherry and Vanilla Compote