JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE (SUNCHOKE)
Jerusalem Artichoke Helianthus tuberosus
Common Name: Jerusalem Artichoke
Scientific Name: (Helianthus tuberosus)
CULTIVATION: The Jerusalem Artichoke, also known as Sunchoke deserves a permanent home in the garden as once you grow them, it is hard to get rid of them! A 10x10 section of your yard will yield 200+ pounds food for you, loads of vanilla scented beautiful sunflowers and a huge amount of biomatter for your animals or compost pile. Drought and heat tolerant, they can grow to be 8” in height and can be used as a windbreak or a backdrop to shade annuals. To plant, loosen roots and bury until the first leaves are two fingers above soil. You can expect from 2 to 5 pounds of tubers from each plant.
CULINARY: They have a mild, nut-like taste that works well sliced raw into salads, or sauteed. They store their carbohydrates in a form of inulin, a starch that is not utilized by the body for energy, unlike sugar. So they are recommended as a substitute for potatoes for diabetics. The texture of the tuber is like a water chestnut or jicama meets a potato. They are great storage crops and can be kept for months in the ground and winter well. They will also keep several weeks in a cool dark place, but only days but in the refrigerator as they go soft and lose their crispness.. So use a few right away for any fresh use you want, such as salads, and cook up the rest for freezing or keep in the ground until you are ready to use them. Jerusalem Artichokes make wonderful feed for livestock as well. Chickens will eat the tubers and goats love the stalks and leaves.
HISTORY: Jerusalem artichokes were first cultivated by the Native Americans. French explorer Samuel de Champlain found some in Cape Cod in 1605 and brought back plants to France. By the middle of the 1600's the Jerusalem artichoke was a popular and common vegetable for both people and livestock in Europe and America
All plants are chemical-free, grown in compost, mixed with compost, worm castings, rock dust and EM1, mycorrhizal inoculations and other indigenous microorganisms.