Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

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 Kath 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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