Thursday, August 2, 2012


Almost 30 years ago we picked up some gooseberry bushes planted in milk cartons at a garage sale in Boulder, Co. We planted them at our house in Thornton, Colorado then, when we moved to Jefferson County, we took them with us. They have been growing in the front yard ever since.
There are three gooseberry bushes. They are deciduous bushes that bloom in the spring, fruit in the summer, and turn color in the fall. The berries ripen sometime around the middle of July. When that happens, I have to beat the birds to them if I want to get a good crop.
We have no clue if these are any particular variety of gooseberry, but they do turn deep reddish purple and are quite sweet when ripe. Picking is the easy part since they pull of the bush easily and are so easy to reach despite the bush having prickles. The time consuming part comes afterwards when the berries all have to have their stems and dead flower parts removed.
The stems are very firmly attached to the berry and don't just pull of without squishing the fruit. So it has to be pinched or cut off. At the other end is the old, dried up flower which also has to be pinched off.
Once I get all the stems and flower bits removed, I pour them into freezer bags and freeze them. Later, I use them in fruit crisps, make oatmeal squares with them or even use them as a topping on a cheesecake. Maybe I'll make jam with them someday.