No other fruit quite beckons Autumn like the Groundcherry. Peeling off the thin, papery husk elicits images of trees shedding dry, papery leaves. This husk holds a small round jewel that entices you with a golden color. As you bite into the berry, a surprising burst of juicy sweetness fills your mouth. Honey-like nectar trickles down your throat. You tilt your head back, closing your eyes, to savor the ethereal moment.
Autumn brings about golden change. Nature hints at its tamed power, gusting winds blow at you, catching you off guard. The days grow shorter, as you struggle to adjust with your lagging body clock. The verdant trees of summer fade into a golden rainbow. They will eventually fade to dead brownness. While it’s easy to be saddened by the end of summer and the end of bright, warm life, it is also a reminder of the unknown life that awaits. Beyond the impending changes of Fall and Winter, there will be rebirth in Spring. There will be surprising sweetness. There will be unexpected jewels. There is a golden promise for new life.
For now, slow down to notice the changes. Use this time to shed your own dry, papery husks. Let go of the deadness that no longer serves you.
And any time you need some hope to pull you through the cold that looms ahead, remember the Groundcherry. Simply tilt your head back, close your eyes, and savor the ethereal sweetness of hope.
"Gooseberries" and "Groundcherries" are close relatives. I first encountered these fruits working on farms in New Zealand, where they were called Gooseberries. In Peru, I found them also called Gooseberries. However, in the States, Gooseberries are often tarter. For pure sweetness, look for Groundcherries. Get the small golden ones for sweet flavor. If you're not sure, as your farmer (or ask for a sample).
Either way, gooseberries and groundcherries rule. Because Plants-Rule.