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Too soon to harvest sunchokes?

 
pollinator
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I want to harvest some sunchokes early and try fermenting them.  Is it too early in the year, or does it not matter what time of year I harvest them?
 
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I was just digging near some of my sunchokes yesterday thinking I might try to transplant some, and I was very disappointed at the current size of the tuber. Mine have not flowered yet. I believe they are 'Stampede' variety.

I've been told that cool soil temperatures improve flavor and texture. If your winters are cold, begin digging sunchokes in late fall, at least two weeks after your first hard freeze.

hope this helps.  (I'm in Southern WV Zone 5c (6a really))

Justyn
 
Todd Parr
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Justyn Mavis wrote:
I was just digging near some of my sunchokes yesterday thinking I might try to transplant some, and I was very disappointed at the current size of the tuber. Mine have not flowered yet. I believe they are 'Stampede' variety.

I've been told that cool soil temperatures improve flavor and texture. If your winters are cold, begin digging sunchokes in late fall, at least two weeks after your first hard freeze.

hope this helps.  (I'm in Southern WV Zone 5c (6a really))

Justyn



Justyn, that's the way I have done it in the past when I cooked them.  I've never tried fermenting them before and I have lots and lots and lots ... so I thought I might try it, but I also don't want to waste them.  And yes, our winters are cold if you think -20 to -30F is cold
 
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Todd Parr wrote:I want to harvest some sunchokes early and try fermenting them.  Is it too early in the year, or does it not matter what time of year I harvest them?



I wouldn't expect tubers to be present this early in the season. I'd expect them to be tiny if they are found. But what do I know? I don't dig sunroots until October or November. If you've got plenty of plants, dig a couple up and tell us what you find.
 
Todd Parr
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:But what do I know?



Quite a lot  I dug a couple, and as you said, the tubers are tiny, almost non-existent right now.
 
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It makes sense and I have experienced this with oca and yacon that the plant is doing all of its work upstairs until it gets cold, then preserves its energy in the basement.
John S
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