Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Thinning Gooseberries

This has been the best year ever for my soft fruit and especially the gooseberries. This is a 4 year old plant of the variety 'Invicta' and you can see that the fruit is much too close together to grow a decent sized berry. I have thinned out the fruit today so that there was a good sized berry about every 2" on the branch. This will result in large, sweet, delicious gooseberries in about a month.
Even though these thinnings are small and very acid, they are perfect for cooking and still have the most wonderful flavour. It seems to me that the acid in a fruit is what gives it a great flavour.
Just a bit of a fiddly job 'top and tailing' them. With a pair of scissors you snip off the stalk and the flower end.
So this afternoon at tea time, I enjoyed a bowl full of gooseberry crumble with cream! Ahhhhhh!


At 7:11 PM, Blogger islandgardener said...

Yum, that sounds delicious!

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post!
For the first time, our gooseberry-harvest looks really promising... And maybe I should thin my berries, too.

At 7:31 PM, Blogger EB said...

Oh dear. If you saw the state of our gooseberry plant, you'd be reporting me to the relevant anti-cruelty society! But at least it's alive - it wasn't going to be, I rescued it when the boss said we didn't have space for it, so it's in a pot. I've heard of people thinning grapes, and indeed of making jam from it, but not gooseberries. It's a problem I intend to have though!

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

Yummy! Our wee gooseberry is only 2this year but it's doing quite well, I reckon we'll get a good 20 berries (haha). Better than none last year.
Good tip about the scissors.

At 2:30 AM, Blogger Maggie said...

I am infinitely jealous of your gooseberries. But I will try to contain myself.

I just gave you a blog award, which you can collect from my blog if you are into those sorts of things.

At 3:31 AM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

I have GOT to try gooseberries. Never had them and am most curious to try them. The crumble with cream sounds delightful.

At 4:43 AM, Blogger Sylvana said...

My godmother grew gooseberries, but I don't remember ever eating any. Do they get sweet like table grapes? I definitely want to try to grow some and these are so pretty!

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Sylvana - yes! when they are ripe you can tell because they are soft if you squeeze them. They are SO sweet and one of my favourite tastes in the whole garden.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

I think the gooseberry is a much under-rated fruit. It makes a fabulous jam - especially if you include the flowers from a couple of elderflower heads.

And, as they say, 'It's only the hairs on a gooseberry that stop it from being a grape'!

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Marcia said...

Are them onions? :p
see? I read your archives. :D

Enjoy your crumble.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Marcia - gosh yes! I remember the store assistant in Wilkinsons! She saw the picture on the box containing the gooseberry plant! I wonder what she is doing now....


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