I can’t say with absolute certainty that this is what I am growing since the plant was given to me by someone way back in the spring, and she was unsure of the origin. All we know is that the plant is much larger and taller than the smaller ground cherries (I believe these are Physalis pruinosa) that are popular at farmers’ markets in this region. I have grown that plant in the past, and they tend to grow along the ground (hence the name), while the type I am growing has big leaves, big fruit, and a tall growth habit.
I’m growing the giant cape gooseberry plant on the roof in a very large, metal garbage can. It’s not a great year for tropical sun lover’s; however, the added heat from the metal and good drainage is doing wonders for it and there should be some ripe fruit soon if the warm weather keeps up.
If you’ve never tasted cape gooseberries or ground cherries I urge you to do so. They have a surprising citrus tang with a hint of pineapple. So amazingly tropical yet they will thrive in this climate and even self-seed into just about anywhere with an inch of soil. I’ve found plants coming up in sidewalk cracks and the part of my roof that is just a thin layer of gravel on top of tar paper.
I came across this rogue cornstalk about a month ago while biking down a Montreal alley. It was growing right in front of the gate, which means no one is coming out alive! Well, at least through this exit anyway.
If you happen upon this little corner-of-the-street garden in real life, you’re only steps away from a great neighbourhood depanneur, Le Pick-up. The cappuccinos were really good, too.
Sunsugars are a farmers’ market staple, which is just one reason why I do not grow them. By policy and public decree. Never shall a ‘Sunsugar’ tomato germinate in my soil!
Don’t get me wrong. The variety is absolutely delicious. They are literally like little orange candies. But why bother growing the varieties you can get all over town when you could grow something surprising?
But this year is different. I have seen sunsugars at some markets, but only some, and on rare occasions.
“This is a very bad year for tomatoes.” How many times have I heard that phrase over the last month? Tens of times? One hundred?
And so it happens that I inadvertently grew ‘Sunsugar’ this year, by chance. I won’t go into the story, but there it was, a ‘Sunsugar’ in my soil (Why does that sound like a euphemism?). It was the first plant to produce a ripe fruit (BEFORE July 1!) and it is still kicking. Which is more than I can say for some of my plants.
Sunsugar, I will never speak ill of ye again.
It has come to my attention that I do this every year: fish around in the soil for potatoes before they are due. As I said last year, it’s the anticipation of not knowing what is going on underneath the soil. This aspect of my personality comes as no surprise. I’m the kind of person who skips to the end of a mystery novel. I try not to do it, but nearly always do.
I think I’m going to wait just a wee bit longer. The plants are still in the process of dying back and we could have had a slightly bigger harvest last year if I had just waited before digging it all up.
Minutes after taking this photo, I brought them inside, popped them whole into a pot of boiling water, and served them hot with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of salt. These are the best potatoes we will have all year.
In case you’re wondering: the purple is ‘Purple Peruvian’. I’m not sure about the reddish pink variety since they were given to me at a transplant trade back in the spring. To be honest, I can’t be 100% bout the ‘Purple Peruvian’ since they were originally purchased at an organic supermarket, but I’ve grown them 2 years in a row and am pretty certain based on the potatoes and the colour of the flowers (purple!).