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The Gooseberries Are Growing

By Sharon
June 13, 2014

It happened every spring as I walked up the dusty one-lane road past Aunt Bett's house. She'd yell out the back door: "The gooseberries are growing! Hurry! I see the robins!" And I'd take off in a run, straight up the mountain to the gooseberry patch.

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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jun 12, 2014 6:40 PM CST
Made my mouth pucker up and water just reading! Never had gooseberries but I would try them if I ever get the opportunity. I love tart, sour!

Great article!
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 12, 2014 6:41 PM CST
Pucker is a great word for them!! Exactly. I should have used it in the article. Big Grin
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 12, 2014 7:01 PM CST
First heard of gooseberries when I was about nine. In my entire life I have never seen a gooseberry growing. Thanks for the image in my mind and the taste. Thank You!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Jun 12, 2014 7:26 PM CST
I remember seeing them growing on the side of the schoolyard when I was in elementary school in Kansas City, Kansas. They were against the fence in a neighboring house's yard. I used to admire them while we were at recess. I thought they were so pretty! Another kid told me what they were. I don't remember trying them, though, as I was taught that you don't take what doesn't belong to you.
I've always wanted to try them, but I never saw any since then. Thanks for the sweet article, Sharon!
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 12, 2014 7:27 PM CST
Greene, look for the green, you'll love them if you like sour.
And wear armor if you ever run into a bush . . . they're that bad.

If you find them, be sure to let me know!
Thanks so much for the acorns. Smiling
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 12, 2014 7:29 PM CST
Ha! KY, sweet words for a sour article!
I hope someday you get to try them.
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Jun 12, 2014 7:37 PM CST
I wonder if it's too late to plant them here? I found the one that is described as "practically thornless":
http://www.gardencrossings.com/plantname/Ribes-Pixwell-Goose...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 12, 2014 7:39 PM CST
With all the cool weather and the rain, I think you'd be fine planting it now.
Make sure it's gooseberry and not currant! Oh yes, I just checked, get it!!
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 12, 2014 7:40 PM CST
Oh, I see some pink ones! Rolling on the floor laughing

Thumb of 2014-06-13/greene/45f9a4

Mom's 1957 Pyrex Gooseberry bowl

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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 12, 2014 7:51 PM CST
Love it!!!
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Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Jun 12, 2014 7:54 PM CST
Sharon, south central Kansas has to be hotter and drier than where you are! We grow loads of gooseberries, both thorned and thornless. Here's a picture of 'Pixwell' in my yard tonight.
Thumb of 2014-06-13/CindiKS/7e94af
My mother in law always made gooseberry pie for me, and my father in law and I could share a whole pie because no one else liked them! Now she's gone, so I'll have to learn to make my own pies.
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[Last edited by CindiKS - Jun 12, 2014 7:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 12, 2014 8:34 PM CST
That's the best news I've heard all week, Cindi! I've already talked myself into trying again. When I brought those plants here from the mountains, and I did more than once, I'm now thinking that maybe it was the shock of such a change coming from 5b-6a then to 7a. I just could not keep any of them alive. However, if I purchased a plant that was grown in conditions much more like mine, it might survive. I'm going to try. Yours look great!! Exactly the right time to pick, just before they turn pink.

Thank you so much. I'm glad I decided to write this article, and I was hoping somebody would come along and point me in a new direction. I finally realize what happened and what I did wrong. I lost a Mountain Laurel the very same way and countless ferns and wildflowers. Live and learn, I guess, but it sure took me a long time!!

It looks on the map as if I'm a bit south of you, but I'll bet that won't matter a bit. Thumbs up
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[Last edited by Sharon - Jun 12, 2014 8:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Renée
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KyWoods
Jun 12, 2014 8:36 PM CST
Does "self-pollinating" mean that having only one bush is okay?
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 12, 2014 8:38 PM CST
Yes, one should be fine.
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Jun 12, 2014 8:42 PM CST
Thanks, I figure one would be enough to feed the critters and maybe I'll get to taste a berry or two. LOL
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 12, 2014 8:44 PM CST
Robins. I swear there were robins filling the trees just waiting for them to ripen a little. I can only remember robins.
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Jun 12, 2014 8:58 PM CST
Yikes! Shipping is $12.95 for one 5 1/2" pot! I will ask my local nursery if they have them or can get them.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 12, 2014 9:39 PM CST
Ouch! Look eastward, maybe explore the Lexington area or look toward Morehead/Ashland to see if there are any places there that do mail order. It would be closer and shouldn't be a climate shock. Might get a bigger one too.
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Jun 13, 2014 3:59 AM CST
Stupid question - is there any chance gooseberries and muscadines are the same thing?
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 13, 2014 8:53 AM CST
No, muscadines are in the grape family -- VItis -- gooseberries are Ribes. I'm pretty sure about that. And as I remember, gooseberries are a larger berry and unlike grapes, they neither vine nor cluster.

There are no stupid questions, Vic. Smiling
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