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easier to peel variety of sunchoke / jerusalem artichoke

 
Leah Sattler
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somewhere I read that they were developing sunchokes that were smoother and easier to peel but now I can't find it. anyone?
 
Susan Monroe
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There are at least 23 varieties of Jerusalem artichokes, which was a surprise to me. 

Here are some varieties I found named online.  Sources could be a problem here in the U.S. Europe has long used them for people food, the U.S. mainly uses them as stock feed.

Mammoth French White / French White Improved
Oregon
Columbia 
Stampede (early, 90 days, large tubers often about 1/2lb)
Fuseau (long, straight, 1" diameter, knob-free white tubers - traditional French variety
Red Fuseau (early, elongated, smooth, red skin)
Boston Red (large knobby, red skin)
Golden Nugget (tapering carrot-shaped tubers)
Kacks Copperclad (good taste, dark copper-purple)
Mulles Rose (large white tubers w/ purple eyes)
Sunchoke (fresh, nutty flavor, edible skin, grown mostly in CA -- probably what we see most here in western US markets)
Kharkov
Violet de Rennes
Smooth Garnet



Dwarf Sunray doesn't need peeling and is also ornamental
LSD is apparently very small.

Notes:  The tubers come in white and red varieties. The red ones are 'wild' and the tubers grow at the end of the rhizomes; the white ones are cultivated varieties and grow near the main stem.

Spacing of  36 × 24" produces tuber sizes 60% larger than a spacing of  18 × 12".

Once the tubers are stored in the ground or refrigerated, the tubers develop a much sweeter taste.

Jerusalem artichokes adapt well to a wide variety of soils and habitats.

If the tops are cut off (or grazed) before maturity, that seems to reduce the size of the tubers.

Jerusalem artichokes can also cause flatulence (farts), so if they're new to you, you might want to start out with small amounts until you find out how they affect you.  Of course, if you have unwanted relatives visiting, who cares? 

Sue

 
Leah Sattler
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hahaha. I knew that about the gas. I need to sneak some into a dinner when my hubby has an important meeting in the morning. wow there really are alot of varieties! surely one is better than the last I had. they were very difficult to peel just because they were so rough. I had a time eliminating them when I planted them in a bad spot, calling them adaptable is a nice way of putting it!
 
bunkie weir
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leah, we have been growing the Red Fuseau and the Stampede for 2 years now. they both are pretty knobby, imo.

this year we are adding these two we found in hopes they're a bit smoother...

VOLGO 2—a very kitchen friendly type. It
rarely shows any knobbiness. These tubers are
large egg-shaped, often inclining toward an
elongated pear or teardrop form. 

SOOKE—without knobs, red-skinned  and
round, it most resembles the form of potatoes.  displayed “fresh” in markets, if it’s available at
all.  Growing your own is the answer to getting
top quality. We offer roots for spring planting


http://www.mapplefarm.com/_::_Mapple_Farm_Online_::._files/Mapple%20Farm%20Brochure%202010.pdf

here's a couple pics of the stampede and red fuseau...the red fuseau bloomed first...




 
Brenda Groth
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beautiful photos..i'm not sure what KIND mine are as i just got 3 small ones as a start a while back..and haven't harvested any yet as they took a while to get a start going...but plan to eat some this fall
 
paul wheaton
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Lisa Allen
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Along with "Cedar Berries" (Juniperus monosperma), Jerusalem Artichokes are excellent for helping both types of Diabetes!   If you can't get that species (which grows in UT, NM, AZ, and NV), you can use regular Juniper berries (J. communis) but the results are better if you can get those!
 
Brenda Groth
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this is my third or fourth year with Jerusalem Artichokes, i have tried them in different soils, from solid clay to sand and inbetween and they grow well no matter where I put them.

You can try to dig them all up from a spot but the following year they are over 10' fall before frost.

They are prolific and as they said in the video, survival food, you can eat them if there is nothing else..pretty much year around..one of the few foods available in winter..raw or cooked.
 
Marla Kacey
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How long a season do they need?  How do they stand up to wind?  These look interesting!
 
Raine Bradford
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What do they taste like?  The last woman on the video sure didn't like them! But they look like an amazing permaculture plant.
 
Guy De Pompignac
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They taste  like artichoke,

here in France Jerusalem Artichoke were eaten during the WW2
 
William James
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I just ate mine last night.
They didn't hold up to wind. Had to support them in bunches. They were in the shade. The nodules were a little small. Probably could have got them bigger by leaving them in the ground, but I was hungry for them. Plus I need that spot to put in another raised-hugel-bed.

I plan to plant many more of them next year in a sunnier spot. I have a friend that distills, maybe I can get him to make me some spirits from them.

We have some out in the field too. They had tons of flowers. I had 2 or so flowers (absence of sun).

The video was good where it talks about the dietary effects. I think if you moderate your consumption it's less of a problem. I went overboard before I new about the side effects. I had a bad stomach ache.

William
 
bunkie weir
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RaineyB wrote:
What do they taste like?  The last woman on the video sure didn't like them! But they look like an amazing permaculture plant.


to us, they taste sort of like a water chestnut...crunchy and a bit watery. great in fritters, soups, stews, raw with dips, etc... haven't tried making the wine...yet!
 
Paul Cereghino
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Old contractor associate used to ferment and distill as well.
I find the taste reminds me a little of burdock.  I don't favor it that much--though it is as close to free food as one can have.  I only get a few flowers just opening now (mid fall) in full sun as well, but I am in a cool climate and frost pocket, so I think it is temperature driven.  I use it to produce 'chop and drop' biomass and to serve as a reserve food... I'll compare the chopped to the unchopped production this fall.  I've heard they are better after frost.  I tried to eat the shoots but I found them to be no good.  I'll use it as something to bulk up a salad, or in a soup.
 
leigh gates
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Sue - thankyou for the list. My experience was I litterally droped a bit of peelilng & ended up with a patch 4 feet acrossed.  Slow the first couple years & then took off, after the landlord gave up mowing them (they are in the center of my lawn).  It was just whatever the local co-op was selling & i did not know there were other kinds.  I find they get sweet if slow roasted overnight, but savory/nuttly in a stew in the crockpot.
 
Raven Sutherland
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A most informative video

i'd grow them for bio mass, the canes for plant support
and even for the wind break/privacy hedge , flowers for bees
even if i never ever ate one. Anything that grows very abundantly
and can be harvested indefinitely with little care deserves
looking into even........... if its just for animals.

But i also found the Fartichoke (laughin) to be a possible
fuel source almost guaranteeing a pound per plant.
 
Ivan Weiss
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Great video, Paul. Loved it. Thanks.
 
Brenda Groth
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wonderful wind break and privacy screen, anyone in central michigan stop by and I'll give ya some
 
Hugh Hawk
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Anyone have experience with feeding these to chickens?  Mine don't go for them, but I've heard Sepp's do.  I was considering cooking some up or mixing them with some other food to get the chooks started on them (usually once they 'discover' a food they will eat plenty of it).  Any ideas?
 
Brenda Groth
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waiting to see if Curt will post here and let us all know how he likes them, he  stopped by yesterday and we dug him up a small batch..

any other Michiganders (central) want to get some they are about ready as they'll get to dig for fall
 
Andrew Ray
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I spent a couple of hours trying to find someone in Central Europe selling them-- language barrier/translation barrier slows things down.  At least there is the common Latin name as a starting point.  Finally found someone on the other side of Slovakia growing and selling them.  But I'm glad I didn't get my wife to order them yet, because today some neighbors were walking by with bags filled from another's garden of "Americky Zemiaky" / "American Potatoes" which are great for diabetics but grow out of control.  Well, now I know the name they use for sunchokes in Eastern Slovakia!  Apparently this neighbor has a bunch that I can go dig.

Can I plant them now?  How close/deep do I have to plant them?  Can they be cut in pieces and planted to plant more?  We have several acres of fields and I'd love for them to become established for my animals.  Can you really just drop a bit on the ground and have it grow, or should I be digging and planting them?

What would be the effect of dropping them in a line a meter apart onto the ground amongst grass?

Is there any disadvantage to having them growing in pastures where there will be cows, goats, pigs, possibly poultry?  I can't think of any, but want to know before I allow them to become established.
 
Saybian Morgan
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They get pretty big, I find if I only plant them 3-5 inches deep they tend to rock back and forth as they grow larger and eventualy rip out of the ground during storms. I'm planting them 6-9 inches deep next year. They serve as a good windbreak I tend to plant them 6 inches apart so I get a dense wall, all the competition for light just sends them upwards faster.
I don't tend to quarter them as I don't wait for sprouting to plant anymore, they overwinter fine if you don't harvest so there really isn't a bad time to plant them just the amount of wait till you see them. I prefer when multiple shoot's come off of one tuber it adds to the density and I can harvest selectively for green forage without creating a hole.

If you plant them with animals you'll never see the plants again.
Pigs will take the roots, poultry will take the shoots, goats, rabbits cows wont even get a chance to demolish them. All these animals will demolish the plant at any stage. I've tried growing them in the duck pen but if the ducks have access to them before there 5 feet tall they'll push them over and chomp it down.

I wouldn't try planting it on the surface someone will eat it before it could even try sending down roots, maybe if you mulch really hard like 12 inches in the spring but the grass will still serve as a matte in the root zone to impede development.

I use it as a pioneer in allot of area's i dont plan on harvesting, spacing can increase there for better tuber yield for future plant dominance, but the biomass in green's including the stalk give me so much more all summer long I don't propigate based on optimal root yield. Tight spacing alows me to get more smaller tubers which dry quicker for animal food and leave just as many in the ground as when i started.
 
Brenda Groth
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i find they grow about 18" down into the ground, so no wind problem here..

the deer like the tops but haven't had them ever dig up the roots though..guess they would if they were starving as they'll dig up carrots and such.
 
Robert Ray
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I've been growing stampede from Johnny's seeds but just recieved from Okios: red fusea, white fusea, clearwater and wild pj's.
  I'll lay them out and attach a photo for comparison.
The stampede bottom center are a bit knobbly. We  tried a few in a five gallon bucket and it produced about three lbs from one bucket.
The clearwater is about the size of a normal chicken egg for scale.
The groundnut isn't a sunchoke just in my pic for something else.
IMG_0034.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0034.JPG]
 
Yolanda Ott
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What is the most economical way I can get some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers to start with? I live in SE Indiana.
 
Joseph Fields
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Where can I get some of these other kinds? Also where can I buy some ground nuts to start some of that?
 
Robert Ray
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I have purchased chokes from Johnny's and Okios Trees, Ground nuts from Okios. The ground nuts happily grew under my squash vines and their vines climbed along with them.
To give you some idea of how much a choke produces in my cool climate, harvesting 6 plants of "stampede" filled a five gallon bucket. My other varieties seem to be as prolific but since I only had a few of those I'm not harvesting for consumption just dividing to increase my beds of those varieties for next year.
Stampede is very bumpy, clearwater and the feseau's look like they are going to be far easier to clean and skin.
 
Devon Olsen
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i am definately interested in getting some sunchokes soon, probably get it mainly for food but the biomass production and windbreak/ privacy screen are also very important along with other benefits
in everyone elses experience, which varieties taste the best in your opinion, also varieties that are good for windbreaks
and i am thinking red rover or wild PJ's from oikos because they grow 12 / 15ft high respectively, that a tall windbreak and lots of biomass, so what is everyones opinions on those varieties?
 
Ken LaVere
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Yolanda Ott wrote:What is the most economical way I can get some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers to start with? I live in SE Indiana.


I just bought a 150 tubers from "The Root Celler" in downtown Louisville I think I payed about $35 (I also bought a bunch of Elephant Garlic). They cut me a deal because I bought so much.

How close do you live to Louisville? I would be more then willing to trade some tubers for some Comfery or something because with 24" spacing that is a lot of Hugo/Raised beds to put in.

http://louisvillerootcellar.com/
DSCN4353.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN4353.JPG]
 
Ken LaVere
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Joseph Fields wrote:Where can I get some of these other kinds? Also where can I buy some ground nuts to start some of that?
Hey Joseph, I noticed you were from KY also and I thought you would find this information about ordering trees very valuable-

http://forestry.ky.gov/statenurseriesandtreeseedlings/pages/default.aspx
 
Guy De Pompignac
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You should take easy to clean/peal cultivars
 
Alison Thomas
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Saybian Morgan wrote:

If you plant them with animals you'll never see the plants again.
Pigs will take the roots, poultry will take the shoots, goats, rabbits cows wont even get a chance to demolish them. All these animals will demolish the plant at any stage. I've tried growing them in the duck pen but if the ducks have access to them before there 5 feet tall they'll push them over and chomp it down.


I didn't know that about chooks eating the shoots. I assumed last year that the mice/shrews/rats ate all the tubers I'd planted in October to overwinter but maybe the hens ate the tops as they appeared. We have actually got 10 plants surviving but that's not a patch on the 50 or so that I planted. Next Spring I'll know to put up some defense against the hens, and the ducks also (they are a new addition this year).
 
Rick Larson
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Leah Sattler wrote:somewhere I read that they were developing sunchokes that were smoother and easier to peel but now I can't find it. anyone?


I have some. Big red fat smooth ones. I have way to many this fall and could send some out.

I am also trying to determine the best way to preserve them. They deteriote fairly quickly once they are out of the ground.
 
Rick Larson
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Devon Olsen wrote:i am definately interested in getting some sunchokes soon, probably get it mainly for food but the biomass production and windbreak/ privacy screen are also very important along with other benefits
in everyone elses experience, which varieties taste the best in your opinion, also varieties that are good for windbreaks
and i am thinking red rover or wild PJ's from oikos because they grow 12 / 15ft high respectively, that a tall windbreak and lots of biomass, so what is everyones opinions on those varieties?


The chokes I planted this year were 15'. I have to break the stems in half in one patch so the potatoes planted to the north could get some sun. Next year I am going to intersperse them throughout the garden in an effort to give a little shade break to other plants during the day. Kinda like Sepp mixes things up!
 
Leslie Kaup
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We've had a patch of sunchokes for about ten years now, but don't really care for them as food. (Not just flatulence, but crazy stomach cramps. . . ) Last year, I got the idea of making wine, and found a recipe which included things like ginger, orange, and lemon. Just bottled last week, and it is excellent! Flavorful, not sweet or dry really, floral, just a hint of ginger, and pretty high alcohol content. So this year, we are digging up twice as many tubers to get an even bigger batch brewing.

This permies thread has a recipe that looks a lot like the one I followed: http://www.permies.com/t/2853/cooking/Jerusalem-Artichoke-Sunchoke-Recipes

The tuber originally came from a natural food store, so I don't know what variety they are. White and knobby, hard to peel. For the wine, I just broke the knobs off to scrub them well.

 
Miles Flansburg
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Sorry someone may have already asked this but I was wondering if the flowers make seed? I was looking at mine today and it looks kind of like the dried flowers had made seeds. Am I seeing that correctly? If so can you grow them from seed ?
 
Kay Bee
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anyone else have mushrooms coming up at the base of their sun chokes

The top growth on my sun chokes died back several weeks ago, but we haven't had much really cold weather yet, so I have waited to dig any up. This week I have some large white capped mushrooms coming up at the base of one of my plants, and a cluster of medium sized brown mushrooms at the base of another... My sunchokes are in my hugelkultur beds, so I am used to seeing a number of differnt types of mushrooms come up, but it seems odd that these are right at the base of the chokes.
 
Chris Cash
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The ones I have look like the Stampede variety but I'm not completely sure. Even the knobby ones just need a good rinse and sometimes a toothbrush scrub. The peel is perfectly edible and probably contains some good nutrients. Here in Zone 9a/Central FL we're getting some plants that have produced almost 25lbs of tubers per season so even if you don't care to eat them your animals will. I'm going to experiment with making inulin syrup from these and the Yacons I'm growing.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Sorry someone may have already asked this but I was wondering if the flowers make seed? I was looking at mine today and it looks kind of like the dried flowers had made seeds. Am I seeing that correctly? If so can you grow them from seed ?


Yes, sunroots can be grown from seed.

Sunroots are self-incompatible. Therefore, they require an unrelated variety as a pollen donor. If they don't get pollinated, the plants will sometimes go through the motions of making seed shells, but they are empty and don't contain a viable embryo. Also, birds are voracious predators of sunroot seeds. In my garden I pretty much have to put a bag over the flower heads soon after petal drop if I want to collect seeds.

Sunroot seeds:


Saving sunroot seeds from birds with floating row cover.
 
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