Judi and I met up this morning for Seedy Saturday at Balls Falls. It was $2 to get in, which included a pack of seeds that you could trade in at the table. I got white turnips, which I love but traded for genovese tomato. I also got Coriander, Dill and Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry (a type of gooseberry) from the Urban Harvest. The description is as follow (with my comments interspersed):
Native of eastern and central North America. Can be used for preserves (oh I am thinking of a liqueur for sure), pies, over ice cream or in fresh fruit salads. The ½-¾” fruits are encased in a papery husk that turns brown when the fruits ripen. Productive plants have sprawling habit (not sure what that means). Children love them too (not sure what that means either, but I assume fussy eaters will like this fruit). It is a member of the tomato family and bears ½-¾” sweet golden berries that are encased inside papery husks. The flavour is quite sweet. Plants have lots of branches, are self supporting and look like small tomatillos. they often will self-seed in your garden … they do not need support, but look graceful in the garden. Certified organic by Ecocert Canada.
I am quite excited about the whole thing! This year I am growing green peppers, jalapeño peppers, ground cherries, tomatoes and herbs: basil, rosemary, flat leaf parsley, dill and coriander. I’m also planning to add Moon flower to my garden. I plan to buy beets and pickles at the farmers market as well as any other fruits for preserving. I am hoping to get sour cherries from Peter again and make a liqueur from them as well. I think that would be a nice gift for this year’s baskets.
Judi and I also heard a lecture on growing figs and currents, including gooseberries. She has a red current bush, which is apparently high in pectin and great in raspberry jam! I have used apples but I can imaging it would bring a rich flavour. Their season is June and Shirley’s raspberries are early September so I will freeze in between (or make current jelly). We’ll see. Judi is also going to try and get me a clipping since her bush is enormous!
I bought the guide “Success in Growing Figs: how to grow figs in southern ontario” by Steven Biggs. He refers to himself as a big pig lol, and it turns out he is the author of the article I read about Adriano’s Figs in Oakville. Judi hadn’t tasted fresh figs, only the dried kind from the store. I think she would just love them – I do, and so does my Dad. There is a different guy near where I live who sells them in the summer – that is my big plan for this year! I am determined to learn how to grow them, and I think my cold cellar would work just fine in the winter. Woohoo! The only sad thing was that two friends won the random draw for fig trees and didn’t come to hear the talk, but Judi and I really wanted them. Better luck next year!
Recommend going again next year, and I plan to contribute to the seed exchange 🙂