~ GROUNDCHERRY or CAPE GOOSEBERRY Seed~
The Groundcherry or Cape Gooseberry is definitely a 'fruit' rather than a 'vegetable'. They have small orange fruit in papery husks that are sweet and have a good fruity flavour when ripe. Also known as wintercherries as they store for ages in their husks.
This is a strain of Physalis peruviana, it is used just as a fruit, or in jams and pies. Kate doesn't like them raw so much but Ben thinks they're fantastic. Ready to eat when dry husks fall off the plant.
They make a very nice crumble with apple, served with custard, which we all liked a lot. Mmm. . . . Beautiful plants, 3' tall, with purple veins, grow in a greenhouse or polytunnel.
100 days, sprawling. Small (1/2 inch) sweet orange fruit.
25 seeds £
~ TOMATILLO Seed ~
Do try the tomatillos. These small vegetables in a papery husk are related to the tomato, are very productive and easy to grow, & are used to make salsas, chutneys and in pasta sauces etc, as well as traditional ingredients for Mexican and South American dishes. Tomatillos will keep well for several weeks if they are picked carefully on a dry day and stored in their papery husks. This is very useful at the end of the season as with care you can be eating fresh tomatillos well into the winter.
These are very much a savoury vegetable - if you want a sweet fruit from the same family then see the Groundcherry above.
They need insect pollination to set fruit. If you
grow them in a greenhouse,
you need to leave the doors open from time to time so the insects can get in.
And there are some nice recipies at at BonAppetit
Purple & Green Tomatillo
This is a very pretty, unusually-coloured tomatillo. Provide a bit of support for the bushes as they can reach 4ft tall and 2ft wide
It has yellow-green skin overlaid with a purple blush, and produces good crops of fruit the size of a cherry tomato.
Note: don't grow too many plants, it is easy to be overwhelmed as they are very productive. You do need two plants to get fruit, as they aren't self compatible, but two or three should be plenty.
25 seeds £
Plaza Latina Giant
A monstrously huge tomatillo, bred from a Mexican fruit bought in Plaza Latina Market, Oregon in 2005. The fruit are bigger than any other we’ve ever seen, a good 3 inches wide - and have a great flavour.
You do need two plants to get fruit, as they aren't self compatible, but two or three should be plenty. Provide a bit of support for the bushes as they can reach 4ft tall and 2ft wide.
16 seeds, organic £