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Gooseberries

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Gooseberries

Postby dogmatique » Jun 06, 2010 12:17 am

This is the first year my three year old gooseberry is producing. I know they are picked in June, but how do I know they are ready?
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Re: Gooseberries

Postby Durgan » Jun 06, 2010 4:21 am

The berries are ripe when they change color from green to some sort of brown. People assume gooseberries are sour. Yes, they are sour since people pick them unripe and green in color, but are very sweet if allowed to ripen. The problem is the fruit takes forever to ripen after reaching full size, probably a month or so. On gooseberries the fruit does not fall off the branch when ripe, so there is no waste issue in waiting. I even let them continue ripening almost to frost, and they are still quality and fine tasting. Usually I make juice out of the ones that I cannot eat raw. By juice I mean placing in the blender and adding enough water to make the mixture possible to dink.

I have two types generally classified as American Gooseberry and European Gooseberry. Difference being that the European type has much larger berries than the American type. Pick berries using the blue gloves worn by mechanics, since the branches are rather prickly, and two hands are required, because the branch must be held to extract the berry.

Ripe gooseberries are not in the least sour.
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Re: Gooseberries

Postby Elena Zimmerman » Jun 07, 2010 2:47 pm

There are actually goosberries that stay green when they are ripe. Taste test though is the best way of knowing. The skin will also turn less opaque on some varieties, and they will "pop" in your mouth instead of you having to crash them and fight with tough skin. I am not a big fun of goosberries, but my mom gave me a plant this year despite my protests, so I suppose I am stuck with having to grow it. Heh.
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Re: Gooseberries

Postby Durgan » Jun 08, 2010 1:34 pm

Elena Zimmerman wrote:There are actually goosberries that stay green when they are ripe. Taste test though is the best way of knowing. The skin will also turn less opaque on some varieties, and they will "pop" in your mouth instead of you having to crash them and fight with tough skin. I am not a big fun of goosberries, but my mom gave me a plant this year despite my protests, so I suppose I am stuck with having to grow it. Heh.


Just wait until mine are ready to pick and I will post the pictures. Both bushes are almost perfect this year with much fruit. The berries are equivalent to almost any other bush plant in flavor and pleasure of eating. I have currants, gooseberries, blackberry, strawberry and raspberry, and I pick elderberry when available in the wild, and blueberries from a commercial farm.
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Re: Gooseberries

Postby Elena Zimmerman » Jun 09, 2010 3:10 pm

Oh, all the rest I am putting in out of my own volition, I see huge sense in growing one's own small fruit. I just really didn't want the goosberry. Too labour intensive to pick and process. They do freeze well, but that berry prickling before making jam is just blah, they do tend to spread like mad, and they are very thorny. I am putting in UofS haskaps in this year, pretty curious if they will turn out. They sound almost too good to be true, but the pollinator nightmare makes it a bit less 'too good' so... here is to hope!
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Re: Gooseberries

Postby Leash » Jun 09, 2010 6:44 pm

What is the U of S haskaps, if you don't mind me asking Elena? And what is the pollinator nightmare you mentioned?? Just curious!
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Re: Gooseberries

Postby prairiegrapes » Jun 10, 2010 12:12 am

Haskaps are a member of the honeysuckle family that produce edible blue fruits. The University of Saskatchewan has fruit breeding program . Haskaps are one of the crops they are working with. Tundra and Borealis are from that program. http://www.fruit.usask.ca/haskap.html

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Re: Gooseberries

Postby Elena Zimmerman » Jun 10, 2010 8:31 am

And the pollinator nightmare is that like plums, haskaps have to be polinated by other species. Existing polinators are inferrior, so UofS are in the process of developping the new exciting one. I am getting 9-15 and Borealis (9-15 sounds like a better version of Borealis). If uofS unveils the pollinator on the market after their Haskap Day in July, I will see if I can sneak a couple on the existing order (since the supplier charges flat rate 20$ S&H for 1 to 99 plants). If not I will buy the pollinator once it's available with a couple more haskaps (to justify the S&H fee). And if the magic pollinator is not coming by Fall 2011, I guess, I will have to buy the inferrior one eventually. :evil:
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