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  #1  
Old 06-01-2010, 01:24 AM
patience patience is offline
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Question What to do with Gooseberries?

We have a bush full of them this year, and never had them before. Are these things fit to eat? The first ones I tasted last year were something like a puckery persimmon with sand in it. I let them rot.

Assuming I ate one that wasn't ripe yet, what do they look like when they are ripe? Some have a bit of a red tinge to them now. Or is it worth the trouble? Should I just call planting this thing a bad idea and make mulch out of it?

Edit to add: What recipes I have found make no mention of removing seeds, and these things are full of seeds. Searching showed me a dozens of varieties of gooseberries, some green, or yellow, or red. Mine show some red stripes, now but not all over. Might turn red later, maybe. Having tasted one nasty one, I'm not real big on the idea of keeping this thing alive much longer unless I can find some use for it. Chickens won't eat them either. Big bummer so far.

Last edited by patience; 06-01-2010 at 01:38 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2010, 01:53 AM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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I love gooseberries! I think they're one of the most underrated and underutilized fruits there are. If you wait till they're ripe, the seeds kind of disappear. They'll be a dusky red when they're ripe. They're a pain to pick, literally, because they have hidden thorns. Wear long sleeves, but you'll still need to proceed cautiously.

You can make pies, cobblers, jam, and jelly out of them. My kids like them straight off the bush, so it's hard for me to get enough to do much with. I usually only get to make one pie and they eat the rest.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:02 PM
patience patience is offline
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Thanks Junie,

I'll let them go a while and see if they get to be edible before they go bad. Might get something from this bush after all! I'll hunt up a recipe for gooseberry pie, and see how we like that.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:43 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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Patience,

I'm not fond of gooseberries, but the grow wild all over here. I usually pick a few quarts for a couple older women that don't have access.

You don't remove the seeds, just the stem and the dried blossom end.

Most recipes are for green (immature) gooseberries. Wild gooseberries are always picked and sold green. Around here, the last time I saw them sell, they were about $7 per quart.

The reason most recipes are for green gooseberries is because they have traditionally not been allowed to ripen. Once they ripen, animals will get them before you ever will, if they don't fall off the bush first

Ripe gooseberries taste much better. The green ones are extremely tart.

Paul
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:35 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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I love them. their taste is unique and when they are ripe they have a consistency maybe like a grape. The skin at least, the inside is softer. I was so happy that my bushes were loaded last year, I hardly got any. birds seem to love them. the only complaint I have about mine, the berries are so small. My mother used to can them green and use them for cake and pastries. Since they are so tart they do well in baking.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:38 PM
patience patience is offline
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Thanks Paul,

I believe you about the animals! A friend who lives at the edge of the State Forest here, thought deer were eating his pears. He set up a game camera and got half a dozen pictures of COYOTES, standing on their hind legs, grabbing pears and chomping away, juice going everywhere! He planted a few patches of stuff for the deer some distance away and has had no trouble with them since. He didn't say what he had in mind for the coyotes, though.

We shouldn't have any trouble letting them ripen here. Our chicken patrol will keep the bugs and birds away, the cats get the rodents, and the dog is getting territorial, so along with a good fence, that should do it. We don't have any cherries on the bushes below chicken level, but she doesn't like gooseberries.

Hope the ripe ones are as good as some say here!
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:42 AM
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Wife and DD came up with gooseberry sauce, to put on something like bratwurst, or hot dogs. Abut half and half onions and gooseberries, sour as anything I've ever tasted. Berries were ripe and not too sour, so I think they added vinegar. They love it, but I couldn't get it down.

I guess they will eat all the gooseberries. I still contend that they aren't fit for human consumption.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:53 AM
nanniegoat Female nanniegoat is offline
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I canned 3 1/2 pints and 3 pints of gooseberry jelly and we love the stuff. I wish our bushes had more but I pretty well have picked them out for the year. YUM YUM
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:40 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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three loaded bushes, they are overripe by now. I eat a bunch every time I get close to them, but I do not want to fool with them, just not enough time to pick them and clean off the stems and blossom ends, If they were bigger, but they are way too small and I wonder why. They also are round and much smaller than blueberries. very tasty though.
My mother canned them green and used them on top of some kind of tart, you put meringue on it. It was very good, tasted kind of refreshing.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:58 PM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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Bookwormom, you don't have to take off the stems (unless they're hard) or blossom ends. You'll never notice them in a recipe.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:32 AM
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WileyCoyote WileyCoyote is offline
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UMMMMM, gooseberries! Love them ripe, they just POP in your mouth with flavor. (Auntie never had a problem with deer or even birds eating them all - she had a whole huge hedge of them, all around the garden!) She made green gooseberry jam with them, and it was wonderful - not sickly sweet like strawberry jam or apple jelly.

Lucky you! I never could grow 'em down South - too hot and humid - but I am hoping the ones I planted here take off like Auntie's did!
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:36 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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the ones we had at home were about the size of grapes, some a lot bigger and the stems sure needed picking off. A neighbor gave me starts for my three bushes and I wonder if they are semi wild or what. I had never seen round gooseberries and I like them bigger than peas.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:56 PM
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rj5156 rj5156 is offline
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Patiences' kid here. We sure made some mighty fine wine with those gooseberries. Might do it again. I will add some lemon and ginger next batch.
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:40 AM
wildturnip Female wildturnip is offline
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We have a couple of varieties of gooseberries. Achilles Red and Hinnonmaki Gold. Both are delicious eaten fresh off the bush. We've started some black ones but I don't remember their name, they haven't produced yet. It might be Black Velvet. I have canned the red ones in fruit juice, a mixture of apple and white grape. The gold bush isn't big enough to have many on it. We just eat those. The last two years, a bear has eaten every berry just before they are ripe enough to pick.
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:09 PM
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I can't even imagine having to deal with bears Wildturnip! Are they good to eat? If there is even a season I would guess the season does not fall at the same time as the fruit and veggies come ripe... Is it legal to shoot bears with paintballs to identify the ones that are a problem?
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:22 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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We get lots of gooseberries here. We have wild and domestic (Pixwell, I think). The larger domestic ones we can like cherries in a syrup, and the smaller ones we make into sauce or ferment.... The problem is picking the darn things through the thorns. We haven't had bears get them, but they are inside our fenced orchard so the transient bears we have are more interested in the salmon.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:26 PM
wildturnip Female wildturnip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rj5156 View Post
I can't even imagine having to deal with bears Wildturnip! Are they good to eat? If there is even a season I would guess the season does not fall at the same time as the fruit and veggies come ripe... Is it legal to shoot bears with paintballs to identify the ones that are a problem?
People do eat bear but not us. We're totally plant eaters I think it's legal to shoot them with paintballs or do things to scare them but not actually hurt them. I would have to check on that again to be sure. The season is in Dec, I think. when we rarely see one. If they do agricultural damage you can request the Forest Service to trap and transfer them somewhere else but based on our deer experience with the game warden, it wouldn't be likely to happen unless they really ripped up the bushes. I didn't know that when they destroyed our three hives of bees. Probably too late to complain about that. It was three years ago.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:22 PM
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I remember reading something about when they got your hives Wildturnip. Ouch. Did not catch that you are plant eaters. I have noted the varieties of gooseberry you like, thanks for the info.

I like gooseberries and we have not planted any at our place. I will have a look at the Pixwell too Don, thanks. Love the idea of canning them in syrup too. Hubby is a baker and turns canned fruit into treats.

We have goji berries we got started last year. Actually got a small crop - and they were AWFUL! Mealy, bitter, just yuk. Read that drying them is traditional and improves them. Probably try that if they do well this year. Anybody grow them? Ideas about how we migh use them? It was a very wet year so dry conditions was not the problem.
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:28 PM
wildturnip Female wildturnip is offline
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DH's aunt has a goji berry bush. She said the berries tasted "pretty good". It's a small bush and just had a few berries on it.
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Old 02-10-2017, 01:02 AM
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rj5156 rj5156 is offline
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Wonder if they got too much water? Wettest summer I ever remember here last year.
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