I have 8 gooseberry bushes right now on the property. Only four of those bushes are of bearing age. Gooseberries for us have been a great choice in berry bushes. Super easy to grow and pretty well disease resistant so far. The other plus for us is that they will grow in some shade. Since our property has lots of shade trees this fruit bush will grow under the canopy of those large hickories and oaks on the property. Four we have planted on the east side of two small sheds. There they get morning sun and are somewhat shaded from the late evening intense sunlight. Those grow the best. My one suggestion is to give them plenty of room. My oldest bushes are close to 5 feet tall and wide. If you plant them too close they are prone to mildew. Thus far we have had no problems with that. Two of my smaller bushes are planted right at the east edge of the canopy of a large hickory again where they get the morning sun and are shaded from the harsh evening sun. Again they love the location and are growing great. The last two bushes I just planted this year. They are supposedly thornless and one is pink and the other is red. They are planted in an open location with little shade. I am watching them closely and if necessary will move them to a shadier location if the sun becomes a problem.
Our first picking was yesterday and as you can see they are just starting to get a little rosy tint to them. If you leave them on the bush they will turn darker but we do not because the robins will get them all. So as soon as we see a little flush we pick them. We also like them at that stage because they have just a little tartness left to them at that stage which is the flavor we prefer. Once picked you can take your fingernails or a small knife and remove the tips and tails. See the stem on one end (tail) and a small tip where the bloom was on the other (tips) . Then I wash them and let them drain and place them on a baking sheet and freeze.
Once frozen they are then transferred to quart cups and left in the freezer. I will add to the cups till the end of the season then make some into a jam and leave some whole and put in vacuum bags for pies. I need to post my gooseberry pie recipe. It came from my late mother-in-law and is award winning. She used to enter them in the goose festival bake off in the town she lived in and won most years.
You find lots of english recipes for gooseberries as it is a fruit that they really like and grow lots of.
That's it for now.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter