Jerusalem Artichokes

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Yvonne Smith, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    My friend and nighbor, Joyce McGregor, has given me some jerusalem artichoke starts to grow. We have so many trees here that it is hard to find a nice sunny place to grow plants that like lots of sun; but out by the front of the house next to the road does as good as any; so that is where i will plant the "sunchokes".
    I just planted my irises there last week, and thought that i would fool the squirrels by planting my sunflower seeds under the irises, and maybe I could actually get some to sprout this year before the squirrels ate all of the seeds.
    It worked for about two days, and then the little pests discovered where I planted the sunflowers, dug up all of my irises, and ate all the seeds again.
    So, my new plan is to plant the sunchokes there, instead. The squirrels should not eat those, they are perennial, and will spread and get thicker each year.
    Since they are growing out by the road, they will also make a privacy screen between the house and the street. And Jerusalem Artichoke roots are edible; so, if all goes as planned, we will have flowers, privacy screen, and a food crop , all in one fell swoop !

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-jerusalem-artichokes-zmaz10onzraw.aspx
     
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  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    An update on the sunchokes----- They are doing well and are almost 6 inches tall now; so we can tell where they are. The irises are settled in and look like they are happy there, and one has even bloomed already.
    Joyce McGregor is going to give me some more of the sunchokes and I am going to start more of them along the side fences.
    I have several roses blooming , red, pink, yellow and white ones.
    Today I planted more of the tomatoes that have been sitting out in the front yard in the flowerpots, and it is supposed to be warm this week; so they should take off and grow. I got two raspberry plants when Kroger had them on clearance, and those are planted in the back yard. (Robin LOVES maters and raspberries ! )

    So, slowly, but surely, the yard and garden is coming togther. Once the hot weather gets here; I will be like Ina, and spending the daytime hours inside except for early mornings, and dire necessities.
     
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  3. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I'm interested to hear and see how your privacy fence comes along, as well as your flowers and crops!
     
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  4. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    I have never seen one. How do they taste? I know that is one silly question but I could not refrain! I would not even know how to cook one!
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    @Richard Paradon , I have not tried eating any of the sunchoke roots. Since I only got a few , I planted them all. Now that they are sprouting; it is too late to try eating one. However, they multiply, so by this fall or early next spring, I should be able to dig up a fresh one and try it.
    From what I read, they can be eaten eiter raw or cooked, and have a similar taste to a water chestnut when eaten raw. They are full of nutrients, and supposed to be low-glycemic and especially good for diabetics.
    Since they grow in the summer and die off in the winter; they should be good for making a privacy screen during the months we are outside, and then gone during the winter when we want the extra sunshine. I won't have to plant them every year like regular sunflowers, and there won't be any seeds that the squirrels can eat , like when I plant regular sunflowers. I am planting some of those, too, but i have to start them in the house and transplant them.

    http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-sunchoke.htm
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    The Jerusalem artichokes are starting to come up again this year ! They grew all summer last year, and then in late summer, they just spread out on the top and were full of beautiful yellow blossoms.
    My friend @Joyce Mcgregor has moved to be closer to her family, but I am going to go down to her house and dig up a few more of the artichokes and plant them along the fences. Eventually, we will have some scattered all around the property lines, and they should come up and bloom each year.
    Since they are also edible, if we ever get to many of them , we can also dig up some of the tubers in the fall and they can be eaten either raw or like a potato.

    This is how they looked last summer when they were in full bloom.
    image.jpeg
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    The jerusalem artichokes are growing like crazy ! Some of them are over a foot tall now, and where they re-seeded themselves last fall, they are pretty thick. last year, we planted just one little row, a couple of feet apart, and they have really spread this year.
    I am working on transplanting some of the shorter ones to along the fenceline so they can start growing and beautifying that part of the yard, too.
    It is strange that the ones which have the best sunlight seem to be where they didn't grow as well as the ones which are mostly in the shade, although the sunchokes are supposed to be s sun-loving plant, just like the regular sunflowers are.
    By the end of summer, these will be at least six feet tall and covered with flowers.

    image.jpeg
     
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  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Yesterday, I watched a youtube tutorial about growing the sunchokes in planters. He had his planted in 3 gallon black garden containers, like those that plants come in when you buy them at the store or nursery.
    He had pictures of the sunchokes literally splitting open the sides of the planter because they were so chocked full of the tubers.
    He then dumped the container, and shook out the dirt and sprayed down the basket full of sunchoke tubers, and when he weighed the basket, there was about 8 lbs of sunchokes in there .
    That is a huge amount for one little container ! !

    We didn't dig any of ours last fall because I wanted them to spread, and they certainly did. The first season (last year) I planted a single row, about a foot apart, along the front of the yard near the road, with the ida of it becoming a summer privacy screen.
    Since they will not reach their full height until August, that idea really didn't work out like I thought it would, although they do make a good hedge, even though they are still short.
    They can grow from 6-12 feet tall under good conditions !
    Mine reached close to 6 feet last summer, and will probably be about the same this year.
    However, this year, we will have a huge amount of tubers under there, and I am going to harvest some for eating, and others to plant around the side fences or other parts of the yard.
    Sunchokes are very healthy, and have lots of vitamins and minerals, and are a good source of inulin, which helps to feed the friendly bacteria in our lower intestines.
    After reading @Ken Anderson 's post about growing the potatoes in sacks, I am thinking that this would be an excellent way for me to grow some of the sunchokes next year, and dumping them out would be much easier than digging them up with the shovel or spading tine.
    Here is a video showing what the tubers look like at harvest time.

     
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  9. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    They're pretty with the flowers blooming....how long do they bloom? If you said so, I'm sorry and missed it. I didn't go back to the beginning of the post.

    Also, what do the roots taste like?
     
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  10. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I just had to look them up...

    Jerusalem Artichokes are neither from Jerusalem, nor are they Artichokes... discuss! (With a nod to Coffee Talk, Mike Myers as Linda Richman and SNL.) The Jerusalem Artichoke, aka Sunchoke, Sunroot or Earth Apple, most likely got the Jerusalem part of its name from Girasole [gi-ra-só-le], the Italian word for Sunflower. The Artichoke part of the name, however probably comes from its similar taste to the not yet bloomed thistle we know as a Globe Artichoke.

    Too many people pass these tasty little morsels by in the produce department because of their appearance and a simple lack of experience with them. So unfair! They’re available during the winter months, when really decent Globe Artichokes are not in season, so any fan of the thistle variety can get their fix of the distinctive taste of an Artichoke throughout the year. They’re also a lot easier to prepare!

    Jerusalem Artichokes, like the Artichoke Heart, have a myriad of uses depending upon the cooking method applied. My favorite however is this simple oven roasting procedure that produces a sweet treat that’s a great side dish or a perfect finger food.

    This also looked like a good recipe....

    http://aguywholovestocook.blogspot.com/2013/04/oven-caramelized-jerusalem-artichokes.html
     
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  11. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We have actually not tasted one yet, @Chrissy Page . My former neighbor, @Joyce Mcgregor , gave us some tubers to plant. I had enough to put them along the front of the yard in one row, about a foot apart.
    Since my main plan was to have them grow and help be kind of a privacy screen, we didn't want to waste any of them by eating it.
    I am pretty sure that they also spread by the seeds that fell off of the flowers, since we have some patches where they came up really thick, and other places where there was just a few of them.
    They are said to taste like the water chestnuts that you find in some Chinese dishes, and I like those, so we will probably like the sunchokes, too.
    The information said not to dig them until after a frost , when you want them for eating, and that would probably be in November here in Alabama. We won't be tasting any for several months yet; but then I will let everyone know how the eating experience goes with the sunchoke tubers.
     
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  12. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the information @Chrissy Page I have always heard about Jerusalem Artichokes but I never knew what they were. They sound like different and unusual vegetables you can use. I love Chinese water chestnuts so I am sure I would love these vegetables too. I think they would be awesome.
     
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