Can we just talk about ground cherries for a minute?
These little fruits are so amazing. They are prolific. They know how to party. The flavor, to me, is very similar to pineapples. And best of all, they are extremely easy to grow.
Sometimes they're tough to find at garden stores. The only place I've ever seen them in the area is Schönheit Gardens in Sun Prairie. If you know of other places, let me know! But once you have them, you'll have them forever.
They are a self sowing annual, meaning the plants die completely and don't come back in the spring, but they drop enough fruit to plant themselves. So when you see the word "volunteer" - thats what that means. They said to me "Hey, Daniella. We know how much you liked us last year. So we've decided to come back". This year I bought four plants plus had two volunteer. I decided to buy the plants because they were further along (meaning more ground cherries more sooner) and because I wanted to make sure I got some. Next year I might try putting a cold frame over the spot in the garden where I have them planted in case that helps bring them up sooner.
One thing I will say about them is that they are deceptively huge plants. So just make sure if you plant them you give them plenty of room. They're ready to harvest when the cherries fall off of the plant and they keep in a fridge for a really long time.
What you can make with ground cherries
I tried in vain to find a photo of the amazing ground cherry upside down cake I made last year but alas, I can't find it. However! I found the recipe! Trust me. Its amazing. You should make it.
I've also made ground cherry jam (with raspberries)
And you can make the classic ground cherry pie.
But I would say that at least 50% of the ground cherries we pick either just get eaten raw from our huge bowl in the fridge or Erik is a genius and throws them into pancakes. YUM!
Where to find ground cherries
Your best bet is a farmers market. I believe theses little guys cost similar to a raspberry pint at the farmers market. One thing thats good to know is that they are pretty labor intensive. Taking them out of the husk is a process. But I just throw on an audiobook or podcast and just hang out in my kitchen and removing the husks.
I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you try out ground cherries!