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  • Susan Truscott

Farming Different Types of Tomatillo

This year we are growing three different species of Physalis, or tomatillos, at our farm. We plant them from seed in early Spring and transplant them into the garden beds in late Spring or early Summer. They produce their fruits in the fall. They are a long-season annual crop in our temperate climate. They are related to tomatoes, as they are also in the nightshade family. The plants are indeterminate and do best if kept staked or caged.


Pictured just below here is Toma Verde green tomatillo, taken in early November last year. The species is Physalis ixocarpa. These are the traditional green tomatillos used in Mexican cooking. A quick roast and they are ready to chop up and make into a delicious green salsa.




The second tomatillo that we are growing is Pineapple tomatillo, pictured below. This photo was taken in late October last year. The species is Physalis pruinosa. The fruits ripen to a golden yellow and are picked as they fall onto the ground. Another name for this variety is ground cherry. The fruits have the sweetness of pineapple along with tomato. They are great for fresh eating, salsas, chutneys, sauces, and even pies.



We are planting a third variety of tomatillo, Peruvian Goldenberry, for the first time at our farm this year. This variety is also commonly known as Cape Gooseberry. The species is Physalis peruviana and it was originally loved by the Incas in South America. The flavor of the berries is a mixture of goji berry and strawberry. They can be eaten raw, be used in cooking and baking, and they dehydrate well for long term storage. As we haven't grown them previously, I don't have a farm photo. I've downloaded a photo from Wikipedia and show it below.



All three of these delicious tomatillo or ground cherry fruits will be available for u-picking at the farm in the Fall. We also offer some of the extra seedlings for sale. Check out our nursery tables when you next come to visit.

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