(Physalis pruinosa); aka Husk Cherry; Minimum 0.3cc (>200 seeds)
Delightfully sweet with a hint of the tropics, these golden bite-size berries develop in their own protective husks. We have successfully direct-seeded ground cherries but due to their small seed size, it is beneficial to start them indoors when you start your peppers and tomatoes. Goldie is a short sprawling sturdy bush that spreads to form a low canopy. To harvest, collect the fruits as the husks turn papery brown and drop from the branch. Extremely productive, the husks begin to fall at the 70 day mark and fruit set continues until frost. Store the ground cherries in their husks until ready to eat. Their flavors intensify in storage.
We enjoy the fruits fresh as a treat and in jam that is akin to a rejuvenating burst of summer sunshine on Michigan's frosty winter days. They make a unique salsa, are delicious in pies and tarts and dehydrate well for an easy to store snack.
Why grow Goldie instead of Aunt Molly's? Well, honestly we don't notice too much difference between Goldie and Aunt Molly's with regard to flavor, productivity, use or storage. The primary difference between the two is growth habit; Goldie forms a low spreading canopy and Aunt Molly's is more an erect bush. Aunt Molly's is aboard the Slow Food Ark of Taste.