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Jessica Still
What can you tell me about Jerusalem Artichokes?

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Can anyone write about their experience with Jerusalem Artichokes? Planting, storing & cooking or serving?

See Recipes, Sunchoke Soup.  I haven't cooked this, but it's a start in your quest. Stay natural, David
helo I would like to share my experience with J Art. I grew them with out knowing what I was doing and spent the next couple of years trying to get rid of them as they become quite persistant, and want to take over if you know what I mean. They add real flair to salads and store well in refrigerated conditions in simple bread bags. We still have some from last year. My experience cooking them is not that rewarding. They get mushy and to my pallet not desireable. As a substitute for water chestnuts lightly sauteed they respond well. Take care where you plant them. I placed them in a secluded location in an old mulch pile I broke down and tilled up about 5 foot across along a garden path made of bark we get from the city. My plan is to prevent the tubers from encroaching into the path on one side and the lawn on the other. I decided to be more forcful than the tubers, and agressively moniter the growth pattern. We love them thinly sliced in all our garden salads. The texture has remained like a carrot, and surprisingly vibrant since last fall. I am looking forward to this years crop
Hello Harmsy & David - I really appreciate your responses! I have been immersed in two garden installations - and it always takes longer on the ground than "as the crow flies" ! A couple of questions: 1. Harmsy, could you tell us what your growing climate is like? We are in zone 4, with winter temperatures of ~ 10F below zero common, so "aggressive" or "forward marching" plants are not so active here as in warmer climates ...  2. How late in your spring <temperature-wise> have you planted Jerusalem Artichoke? Our Sustainability Center sold out of earlier J.A. tubers. Maybe we'll have to substitute Sunflowers for the same-size plant this year? Will be phoning online sources Monday ... Thank you for the Sunchoke Soup pointer,  David - winter soups with storeable summer-grown ingredients fits my growing agenda.  
we are in zone 4 and have similar temps. I planted in the spring, late April I think, and had good results in my old mulch pile. That was last year and I have a small succeeding grouping of plants at 4 foot to date and looking to push out a blossum. I completely turned it over last fall and situated the tubers as I desired, and with three exceptions I have contained my patch to the five foot area. I have anchored the side of a slope that flows down to a nice stream about 15 foot across and 75 foot from my perenial garden. The otherside is bordered with horseradish which I have not yet harvested (fall is the first digging). In between we have a bed of everbearing strawberries that are quite productive . In the side of this slope I have made 4 levels about 5 feet across that extend about 50 feet. Each level was made with 6 inch to 10 inch wood cuts about 16 inches long firewood size. Heavy mulch and bark creates paths and sponges up the affects erosion tries to cause. I am looking for edible perenials to add to onions garlic leeks shallots and potato. these are providing year to year carry over, and providing to meet my goal of eating every month from my garden. Frost comes into the ground late oct to late march thaws. I get my onion sets in when the soil is free of frost and wet. I cover things will straw (swiss chard, parsnips, garlic and onion to see what I can eat longest and get earliest. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed. Thanks
Harmsy, the setting where we will be planting Jerusalem Artichokes sounds like your setting in miniature. It's a five-foot row & there's a slope down to a fast-flowing canal, only 4' across. :-) I have plants waiting to be planted & will add to this note soon. Thank you for your interesting & inspiring description of your garden layout & agenda! Back soon!
I just discovered Jerusalem artichokes recently, but I cook them in the oven or on a barbeque with other vegies (potatoes, carrots, onions) with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. it takes about one hour. They are delicious, nutty with a slight smoky flavour.
I just discovered Jerusalem artichokes recently, but I cook them in the oven or on a barbeque with other vegies (potatoes, carrots, onions) with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. it takes about one hour. They are delicious, nutty with a slight smoky flavour.
Here is my favourite recipe for jerusalem artichokes. It gives a nice aroma to the soup and not at all overpowering.   JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SOUP WITH BACON   Made with artichokes from Sally&rsquo;s garden, May 2011   2 rashers bacon, finely chopped 4 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and diced 2 potatoes, diced 1 onion, diced 2 clove garlic, diced 1 carrot, diced oil 1-2 Tbl tarragon/oregano >1 litre stock 2 Tblcream pinch of nutmeg 2 handfuls of spinach leaves, washed salt, and freshly ground black pepper   1. In a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat cook the bacon for about 8 minutes. Remove bacon and set aside.  2. Drain the artichokes and put them into the bacon fat. Add the potato, onion, garlic, carrot and some oil. Stir to combine, add the herbs, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until the potatoes start to soften.  3. Add the stock and leave to simmer until the vegetables are soft. Blend everything with a bamix. Return the soup to the saucepan.  4. Add the nutmeg and spinach and cook gently, stirring, until the spinach has wilted. Fold in the cream. Season to taste with a little salt and a decent amount of black pepper.  5. Serve in bowls and scatter with the crispy bacon pieces.
Hello VV - Thank you so much for this beautiful looking & sounding soup recipe! Since neither I nor the garden owner have ever tasted Jerusalem Artichokes - we look forward to savoring that J.A. aroma for the first time!  I really enjoy your blog > Vegetable Vagabond! Off to a planting session ...  :-)
I am trying your soup tonight. I don't have spinach but I have beet greens and swiss chard I will tell uo the results and which green I decide on. Thanks
We have them growing wild here as they spread like a weed . Anyway we dig the roots and wash, and steam to cook. We are hermit living mode and like simple foods.
They are a great food crop, easy to grow and great for breaking up tough soil including clay. I've written about them several times on my blog and have a heap of photos of the plants and the tubers. When those flowers reach 3 meters up into the air, you know it doesn't get much better than that.
My favorites ways to prepare them are risotto with chokes and chokes pan-fried with rosemary but I just planted them this spring so I will be able to try many more recipes starting this fall. I planted them in the back of my herb garden where they can expand and fight it out with apple mint. But I am wondering whether anyone has experience putting boards in the ground to prevent the tubers from spreading - how deep, will wood be OK? Or, will it be enough to pull all the new plants next spring to contain growth. Sorry to answer your question with a question, but there is so much talk about the chokes getting out of hand that I thought this might be of interest.
I understand that Jerusalem Artichokes got a bad press in the past due to their tendency to produce gas when eaten. Some people call them 'fartichokes'. I never really noticed when i ate mine over the winter. I,m not a great fan, but i think i will try the soup this winter, VV thanks for the recipe. I roasted most of mine and they turned into what i would call tasty little bags of mush.  I left mine in the soil over winter and dug them as required, when the frost had relented. Glenn
Thanks for the new insights, all - I am so appreciative & regret that I have been too busy < wiped out! > with new-garden installations to catch up on reply until now  ... I saw in your wonderful, green video-walk that that you had Jerusalem Artichokes in your allotment, Glenn & hoped you would comment about them ... :-) shaneguziak has some amazing Jerusalem Artichoke photos on his blog - grown in a large planting tub! The mass of tubers at the end of the season is enlightening! Shane, did you tip out the whole tub/pot, or were you able to lift this mass of tubers with the hefty stalk? I can see that it might be very difficult to dig a mass of tubers without cutting them up with the tool[s].  Shane's view of tuberous bounty makes me think I'd like to design an easily-opened, break-away box for growing Jerusalem Artichokes - in a front yard vegetable garden! Have some ideas already ... open to more break-away fastener ideas for removing a box-side ... I've concluded that we will plant JA in this garden in the fall in our zone 4 climate, like garlic. I've just planted a crop of bush beans to improve the already-black loam in the tentative spot.  Meanwhile, I would love to hear even more about using Jersalem Artichokes. I look forward to the soups DK & VV provided. Thank you for your savory saute ideas, mygardenerstable. And Glenn, if roasted JAs make mush, maybe that mush can be incorporated into a custardy quiche-filling? David Kelley has a wonderful formula over in the Pickling & Preserving Group that tells how to adjust the salt-vinegar ratio exactly to preserve crispness. This makes me wonder if the "crisp thinly sliced" fresh tubers could be pickled as crisp slices? I am still mystified about the flavor & looking forward ...
Thanks for the vote of confidence Jessica! The article you are referring to is one I wrote about growing your own, but well worth the wait don't you think?
mine are not growing very large as we have a north side garden in canada #4 gardening area. but... have had a few meals and found they are excellent if you wash,slice thin and pan fry with a bit of oil.
Hi I will have to try cooking them like that, i think i am overcooking mine that is why they are turning to mush. In a book recently i read the following regarding Jerusalem Artichokes. "Widely available in the autumn months, these delicious vegetables have an unusual, slightly bitter yet buttery flavour. Their bitterness is due to the presence of a compound called cynarine. This is a powerful liver stimulant , so eating jerusalem artichokes will support liver action helping to detoxify the body." Glenn
Here's a video link to how we make Artichoke Relish....forgive the first part, it's kind of silly. www.mooreplants.com look at the section tab video. This is a garden I've been working in for 11 years!
I've been growing sunchokes for years, from the same six tubers I bought years and years ago.  I have them at the back of the garden where I can enjoy their tall blooms in summer.  I am Zone 4, with cold winters.  I don't harvest my chokes till spring.  I love the wonderful flavor and crispness of something fresh so early in the year.  I eat them raw, either as they are or in salads.  They are quite low in carbs and I love the crunch.  My garden is quite large (an acre) so I have the space they require.  If I did choose to cook them, I think it quite likely I'd steam them along with some other fresh veggies, and eat them with a bit of aioli (garlic mayonnaise, quick and easy in the blender or food processor).
Thank you for your insights on extending the harvest season to early spring with perennial-performing Jerusalem Artichokes. It is especially gratifying to extend the harvest season in a zone 4 winter climate. How practical to work with natural systems & let winter soil be your storage system! I'd be interested to hear what other season extenders you've discovered. One I've used is planting pre-sprouted & innoculated Oregon Sugar Pod Peas as soon as the snow melts off the pea-trenches that were prepared in the fall. With some sunny winter weather, I've seen the peas up 14" in March - never mind how many times it will hard-frost before spring. Peas that froze translucent still went on without any remedial attention to make an abundant, robust crop.
I agree- that's a very practical way to use a natural storage system with the winter soil! It's like your very own outdoor kitchen! My garden may be growing since I just remodeled my actual kitchen and have been spending a LOT more time in there! The expanded garden will probably involve some Jerusalem artichokes, so I'm glad to have read these tips. Thank you!
Not novel but effective. We slice and dry in a dehydrator. 1lb from a neighbor broke into a dozen plants each yielded 5lb with virtually no effort or consumption of garden space down the center of a 10 ft raised bed. Yum. Hint: trim the leaves up about 3 feet to remove any chance of shading other veggies. The stalks are so stiff I think next year we will use them to support beans. Anyone pickelling them?
A homegrown recipe! I'm afraid I have no insight into growing them (yet!) but my favourite way to cook Jerusalem artichokes is to slice them into medium-thickness rounds, steam them for 7 minutes (or until slightly yielding but not well done), cool and then pan fry with a knob of good butter or olive oil. I top them with crushed and toasted hazelnuts & some freshly chopped herbs such as parsley or chervil.
We simply grate the Sunchokes and then lightly olive oil them. We also make them into mashed chokes, same as mashed potatoes, and add a little of our own maple syrup.
I love eating them sliced in salads- great with watercress and crumbled blue cheese. i also make a simple soup that is lushiously smooth and rich- but vegan- . saute onions or leeks in oil with some chopped garlic. add salt and pepper and a pinch or thyme( dried or fresh) . add cut up potatoes and scrubbed JA. cover with stock or water and cook til all is soft. puree with immersion blender or regular blender. adjust seasoning. Garnish with chopped chives or chopped parsley. my experience with growing them as been less than fruitful. i was warned not to plant them in my garden as they are so invasive so i planted some on a berm property border thinking it would be nice covered with sunflower type flowers. well, they never got to spread and flower as the deer nipped them in the bud so to speak. Never got one to flower so haven't bothered digging for roots. now they are sort of lost in a tangle of other things that have grown up on the berm as well. anyone know if the tubers will still form if there have been no flowers? I could poke around in the spring but they were originally planted a few years ago....
I get no flowers on mine, but still get tubers. I think you will find some tubers but they may be small, if they are growing with other things in competition. Glenn
They make pinkey width radiations 1 - 6 inches during the summer. As the season progresses the ends of these fatten in to new toes. As the plant dies in fall sugars from the pithy stem move to the root and they fatten up. So whatever is left from dear browsing will certainly still grow and regrow. We pulled a bit all season long to test this progression out and it is true. Next year i will just plant bunches (3-4 TOES) in 20gal recycled plastic tree pots from the local nursery. Each toe gets up to 8 little purple growth nubbins for next year's new shoots. They should easily fill the pot. Just feed and water. There is no shortage. Just dump to harvest with the kids, gloves, hose and a colander.
My introduction was last year when my neighbor brought me a single j'choke to plant. The thought was to have a sunflower like flower on the sunny side of the house. Well this Fall we harvested about 30 tubers, replanted 15 of them and made a great soup with the rest. http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/Side/Eggs/Dairy/recipe.html?dishid=11230 I'm looking forward to next Fall's harvest.
THANK YOU EVERYONE  !!! ... for all the distinctly different shared experience & new ideas !!!
Hi Jessica Have a Happy New Year. I hope the proposed new website generates a little more activity than the present one. Glenn
thanks for the note about continued growth after deer browsing or interupted growth. I will definitely root around for them in the spring. will also plant some new ones- do i dare put them in a corner of the garden where the deer won't get them???and risk take over?? Maybe i'll try the container method too.

 

 

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