Going About Gooseberries

Back in July we met someone from the Goostrey Gooseberry Society at the RHS Tatton Flowershow, the last society in the country to grow gooseberries for show. You may have seen them in the Victorian Kitchen Garden back in the 80s, and you will be happy to know, unlike Chilton Foliat, they are still going. Warms the heart, doesn't it? Then we found out that in our area, along with rhubarb and spuds, gooseberries were once king, and also shown - could we resist?

The next big thing in horticulture will be gooseberries.

We made contact with the Goostrey Gooseberry bunch earlier this year and tentatively mentioned that we'd like to set up a society in our area once more. A kind of gooseberry revival. They were delighted and before we could even ask about how we could proceed they produced eight varieties for us to grow on. Their and our desire is to share cuttings in our area with those who want to join in. So, if you're in Saddleworth, love your gooseberries the do contact us. And, if you are further afield, remember Harry Dodson and Peter Thoday on the Victorian Kitchen Garden, and miss gooseberries in your garden and think, just maybe you would be willing to set up a society in your neck of the woods, get in contact and we will pass your details on. Let's revive the gooseberry and those varieties that were not just grown for taste but for the startling size they could reach when tended with passion. Here's our gooseberries from Goostrey: Lloyd George and Blackden Gem (Red), Edith Cavell (Yellow), Bank View (Green), Newton Wonder and Jodrell White (White). In a twenty minute meet up we even learnt a trick or two in pruning and shaping, we'll show you at a later date.

Hardy, tasty and filling our kitchen, gooseberries. Let's revive them and celebrate them.

We'd like to thank David Garratt from the Goostrey Gooseberry Society for all his support, patience and advice.