The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Strawberry Growing

Strawberry Growing

David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 48
For our purposes, a gooseberry is a currant. All members of the family Ribes are illegal in Maine.

Gooseberry, like huckleberry is an imprecise term meaning different things to different people depending on location usually.

From wikipedia:

Other fruits called gooseberries
As well as the other species in the subgenus Grossularia, two other unrelated plants are sometimes termed 'gooseberry'.

The fruit called the "Cape gooseberry" is produced by the species Physalis peruviana in the family Solanaceae, native to the Andes.

The fruit called the "Chinese gooseberry", now more commonly known as kiwifruit, is produced by the species Actinidia deliciosa, in the family Actinidiaceae. As its name implies, it was originally cultivated in China, but was taken to New Zealand, where cultivars were selected, and the fruit renamed kiwifruit. These are now grown in many areas, and marketed worldwide under that name - though the older name is sometimes still seen in Australia.

The "Indian gooseberry" is produced by the species Phyllanthus emblica.

David Spahr
A former member
Post #: 50
LOL what does a gooseberry taste like? biggrin Well a gooseberry?...Pretty tart and without the "knock you over" flavor of a current. In the wild they grow on raspberry-like stalks and are green with a little purple as they ripen, though they are picked green. When I used to do extensive gardening (using the Ruth Stout method) I did have a few bushes. I did not find them of much use though. I canned a few pints--no one much cared for them.

Now currents is another story. I had a bush and there is nothing that will compare to current jam IMO. Though I may be prejudiced from a childhood memory. I think I was born with a love (and knowledge) of wild plants, and when I was around 10 I picked a few handfuls of wild currents (we lived in the Colorado Rocky Mts. back then), put them in a pan with a little sugar and cooked them for awhile. They must have a lot of natural pectin because in a few minutes I had the best tasting jam I'd ever tasted.

I googled this topic and found some info at the Minnesota extension site. It does seem that some variities are less rust prone and if planted a good distance ( I would not risk wind drift!) from white pines there would be no problem. If I was one of those people I would, for instance, ask my sis in MN to send me some plants. On the other hand, I would not hesitate to report a grower, organic or not, if there were white pines in the area, as there are most everywhere. But I watched my white pines die so am emotionally involved here. an afterthougt, I wonder if bird droppings spread ribes? In that case it would not be OK to have a few plants even if no white pines were in the area.
A former member
Post #: 51
I meant to mention in my post and forgot, huckleberries have always been a mystery to me, and one I have not yet figured out! In Minnesota a very dark, almost black, berry grew on an annual plant--much like a ground cherry--and someone told me they were huckleberries. I found them to be very bland, not tart at all, and quite useless. But I did grow ground cherries back in Minnesota, which I understand are also called huckleberries by some. Interestingly, a few years ago I got a package of "ground cherry" seeds, but the fruits turned out to be similar but just full of seeds with no flavor. Any of you that have planted seeds that did not turn out as the package stated can understand my surprise! But the husks are so pretty that I have kept a plant or two going each year to keep the seeds viable.

So what the heck is a huckleberry? Does anyone here know for sure? Maybe tonight I will get my seed catalogs out. But I have noticed that seed catalogs have gone the same route as just about everyting else in this once great land of ours--everything's been Clear Channeled. The saddest one for me was to see Jung Nursery from South Dakota go so bland. How excited I used to be in the spring to have the long paper bags arrive with fruit trees and bushes! And of course a few little extras, too. We are lucky here in Miane to have Fedco and Johnny's.
user 4058763
Hollis Center, ME
Post #: 19
You can get huckleberries here: http://www.raintreenu...­

Or here: http://burntridgenurs...­
Merry & Burl H.
Portland, ME
Post #: 2
Our first year sparkle strawberry plants are growing gangbusters and sending out runners. We picked the flowers so we don't expect a crop this year, but our mouths are watering for next already. Anyway, do the runners plant themselves and start a new generation? or A) is there something we have to do to root them? or B)will we need to buy new plants after a few years? Thanks, Merry
A former member
Post #: 52
In my experience if the mulch is deep and dry they may need a little help. Open the mulch a little and tuck them in. A wire V made from old coat hangers can help to secure them.

I have never had a well organized patch going, however my neighbor used to have wonderful strawberries year after year. Her method was to wait till the runners were well established in the paths and then mow down the mother plants and mulch that row, turning it into the new path.

A friend here in BB has great berries and I have heard her say that she does need to buy new plants from time to time and I think she meant that the old ones get diseased. If no one here has the answer to this I will call her and ask for specifics.
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