Gooseberry Pie

When it’s the Forth of July and Eden Hall is bursting with gooseberries, there’s only one thing to do…make pie!

Our gooseberry bushes have fruited tons of berries this year, partly because of the mesh netting that has protected them from birds and critters.  We also mulched the beds so that we could keep the weeds under control.IMG_2187

Gooseberries grow on bushes similarly to blueberries.  They hang off the branches, and will fall off into your hands when they are perfectly ripe.  However, the bushes are scattered with thorns that can make harvesting slightly painful!  I kept forgetting about the thorns, harvesting greedily until again I would be reminded of the bush’s built in protection system.  My fingers ached, but my heart was happy as I walked away with a full harvest of gooseberries.


I had never had a gooseberry until a couple weeks ago at Eden Hall.  I picked one of the very first ripe berries so that I could taste this interesting fruit.  To me, gooseberries taste like a perfect mix of a grape and a kiwi.  They are slightly tart (especially the greener berries) but have a sweet brightness to them as well.


washed and ready to become pie

For the pie crust I just used a classic dough recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour                                                                                                                   1 tsp salt                                                                                                                             1 tbsp sugar (because it is a sweeter pie)                                                                     Pulse these in a food processor just to mix                                                                     add 1 stick of COLD butter, cut into cubes                                                                     mix in food processor until pea sized clumps form, and then while the processor is mixing, slowly add cold water until the dough comes together.                                                   Chill in refrigerator for at least a half hour before using

Here is the recipe for the filling!

Gooseberries (as many as I could pick…probably around 4-5 cups)                                     1 cup white sugar                                                                                                                 1/2 cup brown sugar                                                                                                           2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger                                                                                                   the zest of 1 orange                                                                                                             1/2 tsp lemon juice                                                                                                               1/4 cup corn starch

I put all of the above ingredients in a pan, and reduced it for about 15 minutes.  I let it cool (mostly) and then put it into my pre-baked pie crust!  The mixture was still a little bit runny (maybe i should have added more corn starch?) so i used a slotted spoon to transfer the mixture.  I covered the pie with the remaining dough, using the lattice design, and baked it at 400 until the crust was golden brown.


The finished product

Needless to say, the pie was devoured, and I can’t wait to see what other delicious treats these new berries will bring!

Cassandra Malis                                                                                                                   Masters Candidate in Food Studies                                                                                     Intern at Eden Hall

What’s going on in the permaculture garden?

There’s been a lot of work going on in the Eden Hall permaculture garden lately! Our farm crew has been busy weeding out lots of thistle, laying new cardboard, and mulching the whole garden.

Look at those beautifully mulched strawberries!

Look at those beautifully mulched                            strawberries!

We’ve already had one strawberry harvest in the garden, and they’re getting ready to fruit again!

New strawberry blossoms!

New strawberry blossoms!

Just a little bit longer!

Just a little bit longer!

We’ve also harvested many pounds of black and red currants and the gooseberries are ripening, too. Even our young trees are starting to produce fruit!


We’ve placed informational signs around the garden and labels on all the trees. We’ll soon be putting out signs labeling all of the perennial plants in the permaculture garden, too. Feel free to stop by and learn about our garden and permaculture!


Planting Elsalma

elsalma planting collage

Yesterday we got several rows of squash and pumpkins planted out in Elsalma.

Allen drove the planter on the back of the tractor, and the rest of the crew pitched in placing seedlings and gently covering the roots with soil.

In case you were wondering where exactly Elsalma is located, here’s a simple map showing an outline of the Eden Hall Campus (in white), along with Elsalma and the fenced the portion where we planted yesterday. The Student Garden is also highlighted (in yellow) as a point of reference.

google map elsalma labeled

Work & Pick Program Thriving!

Weeding Rainbow Chard!

Even through the rain and thunderstorms this week, the Eden Hall work and pick program was very productive and learned quite a bit about weeding, planting and preparing beds for the rest of the season!

Transplanting Romaine head lettuce

Preparing the hoop house for late season crops


Sprouts and Blooms

Everywhere on the farm are sturdy young plants and beautiful late spring blooms as we move towards another bountiful summer. In our solar high tunnel, the kale is thriving and the tomatoes are moving in and growing like weeds! (We prefer tomatoes growing like weeds to weeds growing like weeds- much more delicious!)