Garden, Plant, Cook!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jerusalem Artichoke Harvest - November 22, 2012

Dear Folks,

The morning of Thanksgiving we dug the best performing (at least by size of plants) location of my Jerusalem Artichoke experiment.  I planted a single tuber there this winter (February).  Several weeks ago I did a post on the other location and showed 'a few' smallish tubers.

For you gardeners who want to try these, the other location was watered less and that obviously made a difference.  They survived and did "okay" but not robustly.

The ones harvested in the picture here are a testament to the possibilities, given they came from a single tuber.  The plants themselves were well over 7 feet tall and had to be tied up to the nearby fig tree.  They were watered every 4 days in the summer and are back to every 5 days now.  As the temperatures go down the bed will be watered less - back to every 6-7 days.

I took what I wanted to use Thanksgiving day and put the rest back in a hole to 'hold' -- I tried to find information on the ones that were green (you can see them to the side).  I could not find totally informative info on them and chose not to use them.  I will replant when I finish using up the nice white ones.  A rough estimate would be the total roots available and usable would have filled my gallon mixing bowl - from one tuber.  I know I keep repeating that, but it is important.  The invasiveness of these members of the sunflower family  are well documented elsewhere but now I know they could take over a desert garden too.

For this reason I will grow them only in this one garden area where I can control them.  But I look forward to multiple harvests during the year and fun experimenting with using them.

They are a nice crunchy taste raw and can be cooked in a number of ways.

The flowers do not put out the typical seed, but I took some anyway and will see if they sprout.  The pollinators liked the flowers so even if the seed is not viable the flowers did double duty with their happy sunflower faces and nectar for the flutter-bys :-)

Have a nice day in the garden,

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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