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tell me about Jerusalem Artichokes  RSS feed

 
Berry Chechy
Posts: 45
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Hi!

I want to know about Jerusalem Artichokes, what are they good for? What do they do, are they good for soil? should I plant them? Pro's/con's??


Thanks!
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Berry, welcome to permies!

Here is a list of all of the threads about Sunchokes. Should find all sorts of information there.

http://www.permies.com/forums/jforum?module=search&action=search&forum=70&match_type=all&sort_by=time&search_keywords=Jerusalem+Artichokes++++
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I have some jerusalem artichokes growing and quite like them, but my parents are not so keen on the taste.

I made the mistake of planting them in one of my main veggie beds. We got a good crop the first year and then they expanded and expanded every year there after. They need to be treated as a perennial that will expand from the space it is planted it. You can get rid of it by putting pigs on the area and they will dig up and eat every last tuber. They are very low maintenance - short of digging them up in the autumn (or leaving them in the soil to harvest when you need them in the winter). They do a pretty good job of shading out weeds as they grow around 6ft tall. Don't position them blocking the light of other crops.

Most of the carbohydrates in them are locked up in the form on inulin which our bodies cannot digest and make use of. It is broken down into digestible forms only by long slow cooking (2hrs plus) and if you don't do this you can get bad wind!
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
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Michael Cox wrote:

Most of the carbohydrates in them are locked up in the form on inulin which our bodies cannot digest and make use of. It is broken down into digestible forms only by long slow cooking (2hrs plus) and if you don't do this you can get bad wind!


Ah, yes. This is why I've always known them as fartichokes.
 
Mike Hoag
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Yes, plant them! They produce ridiculous amounts of carbonaceous material for compost and mulching. They quickly fill in woody hedges until the woody plants get big. They're beautiful. We get comments on our Sunchoke flowers all the time.

And they're one of the highest calorie/square foot crops you can grow. They produce buckets and buckets of tubers, even in drought. We use them for pancakes, latkas, soups, salads, gnocchi, breads, sauces....

It takes experimentation, but they make great dumplings with a little egg, flour and water. Or try a "curried Sunchoke" or "roasted garlic sunchoke" Veloute. The texture will be smoother and sweeter than good potato soup. Just wash between the folds first.
 
dave collett
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I am in the same part of the world as michael cox, and I did the same thing- put them in a proper raised bed, which does defeat the point really. sepp holzer seems to use them as more of a pioneer plant- they don't need particularly good soil. the farty thing is due to the inulin, but your body does have the enzymes to deal with it, it just isn't conditioned to expect it. eat small amounts at first and you soon adjust, I have found that each harvest season I can eat large quantities straight away now with no ill effects. they are a hassle to prepare because the knobbly shape makes them difficult to clean, I dig a load up, prepare them en masse and freeze. best deployment of them seems to be as a pig forage, though i don't keep pigs myself.
 
William James
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Location: Northern Italy
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As for the gas/fartichoke issue, harvest in jan/feb, if the rodents don't get to them first.
I didn't have any problems at all, and we fed them to 50 people in two different dishes and nobody complained of gas. It's harvesting them in october-december that gives you gas, as I did the first year.

You need to turn the inulin into sugars, and leaving them in the ground does that.
William
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Some number of people will warn you that they are invasive, will be overly successful and take over your garden and so forth. Personally, I am just hoping that more than the one I believe I have sprouting has survived the winter. I have suspicions that voles have eaten all the others.

Point being that those kinds of warnings are not necessarily universal and not to be overly dissuaded by them. I know people who consider them very tasty, but am still looking forward to trying one myself Here's hoping I get some survivors and have a chance.
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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there are none knobby ones that are much easier to peel and clean. not very many sources for them though.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Peter - observations of my own artichokes suggests that they are substantially later to sprout and develop than I might have expected. I've been harvesting rhubarb for weeks but not seen a peep out of the artichokes that are next to them.
 
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