Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's raining it's pouring

Gooseberries (phyllanthus acidus)

Net for harvesting the gooseberries

Pouring rain

Rainy day

This cutie pie is my little bear

Mango tree in bloom

Frangipani (plumeria)

Yellow walking Irises

Coconut thatch on pergola for shade

Today it is raining cats and dogs so there isn't much I can do in the garden. However I have a tree laden with gooseberries in my back garden, and with the heavy rain I might just loose the whole crop. So in between showers, my helper Kris and I got to work harvesting the fruit. We erected a large shade netting on iron poles (rebars) that were implanted into the ground. We then tied the netting onto these iron poles. We had to cut a few branches that were growing into the golden palms. These were laden with fruit, and they all fell into the netting. We then removed the fruit from the branches and then filled the empty containers we had waiting. Gooseberries or Damsons are sour and are made into drink, preserves or pickled. I prefer to preserve them. They also freeze well, so any excess I have I clean them up, bag them and toss into the deep freezer. When I want to make preserves, I take them out of the freezer and toss into a pot with sugar and spices and cook. I have harvested many large containers and I may have to call a friend of mine to see if she has room in her freezer to help me store them. To preserve them I add 1 cup of sugar to every 2 cups of gooseberries, add a cinnamon stick and put it on a medium heat to cook. It will make its own juices as it begins to cook, so please do not add any liquids. As the sugar dissolves keep stirring the pot to prevent it sticking to the bottom. As it comes to a boil reduce heat and let it simmer until most of the liquid has gone stirring often, until it becomes a thick syrup. Gooseberries in sugar will turn a beautiful rich red brown colour when finished cooking. Prepare bottles for canning the fruit and heat seal for 10 mins. These will last for 2 years and are delicious over ice cream or just eating out of bottle. Remember to spit out the seeds as you eat. Delicioso!


  1. It's so difficult to take pictures of rain but yours are lovely. I'll have to give it a try next time I get rain.

  2. I enjoy any and every view of your garden, of course I know the fruit as 'sour cherries' I dont see many in these parts anymore, thanks for the recipe if I get my hands on any I would be sure to make the preserve as I havent had any in years.

    Your pictures are lovely!

  3. Thank you Jill-O I wondered how the rain would look.

    Raxx girl if you any where near Barbados let me know I gotta bottle of stew for you. Just let me know LOL

  4. Kanak wrote Hi Helen, I couldn't comment on your blog yesterday. I hope it's just a temporary thing. Just wanted to tell you that I loved your post. Your garden, come rain or shine, looks fabulous! That plumeria pink-gorgeous! Loved the recipe too!

  5. i am totally intrigued by your gooseberries. Ours grow on bushes. Yours grow on trees! Wow. Are they sweet? Ours tend to be a bit sour. fascinating

  6. Rhyleysgranny they are sour with a small seed. Mine are not too bad, but you can find some that can cut your throat LOL

  7. It's fun to have someone afar who have been visiting your blog now visiting your garden! That'd be lovely. And that's generous of you to share your gooseberries preserve with Maria and hubby.

    Those gooseberries jam look so beautiful in red! Bet they must be tasty!

  8. They are very tasty JC and thank you for stopping by.


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