Ground Cherries (sometimes called Cape Gooseberries) are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week from the Summer Certified Farmers’ Market. Truth be told, though, these delicious little morsels are neither cherries nor gooseberries. Closely related to Tomatillos, Ground Cherries are actually members of the nightshade family of plants (which also includes tomatoes and potatoes). A variety of species of Ground Cherries have evolved, and most are indigenous to the Americas (although varieties can be found throughout the world in temperate climates, hence the alternate name Cape Gooseberries - the name given to the particular variety that grows in South Africa near the Cape of Good Hope).
Ground Cherries are best when fully ripe, and are delicious when eaten right out of their handy Chinese Lantern-like husk. They are perfect bite sized morsels – filled with a burst of fresh fruity flavors. Sweet, yet slightly piquant, they are at once reminiscent of tomatoes, pineapples and mangoes. Ground Cherries are quite versatile, and are delicious additions to salads, jams, and pies. They can even be dried and eaten like raisins!
DID YOU KNOW: Many varieties of Ground Cherries, like their Tomatillo cousins, cannot self pollinate. So if you plan to grow your own, you’ll need several plants. A single Ground Cherry plant will bloom, but never set fruit.
Price: $ 4 a pack.
Also in Season: Celery, Green Onions, FRESH and DRIED Herbs, Eggs, Dates, Almonds, Oranges, Grapefruit, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cherimoyas, Dates . . . . PLUS, incredible artisan breads, fresh meats, cheese, fresh raw honey, California olives/olive oil/vinegars, and a wide variety of exotic Orchids and flowers.
The Summer Certified Farmers’ Market accepts CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. The Market also offers Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, then used at the market for purchases.
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. That means all the fruits, vegetables, meats and other products that are on sale at the markets have been grown on California Certified farms. In addition, almost all the farms are located within a 90 mile radius of the markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and more than 60% of the products sold are “USDA Certified Organic.”
The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.