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Sunchoke aka Jerusalem Artichoke -- where to find tubers in Ontario?

 
Posts: 4
Location: Palmer rapids Ontario Canada
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I am looking for some sunchoke flower tubers to plant on my property for both my bees and me. I can’t find any place that will shop them. I am in Ontario Canada. I see them growing around in people’s yards.. at least I think that is what they are.
 
garden master
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Hi, Colleen.  Welcome to permies!

You should find success going to any grocery store that sells Jerusalem Artichokes and planting the ones sold for food.  I don't know how it goes in Ontario, but in the US you typically have to be in a large city and shop in a "fancy" grocery store to find them for sale: a high-end supermarket or a place that specializes in a wide variety of produce.

Also, if you look down at the bottom of this thread there are some "similar threads" that contain a lot of useful information about Sunchokes; you may find those helpful.
 
Posts: 93
Location: cornwall, england
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If you ask someone for just one or two tubers and leave them in the ground a few years you'll have a dense big patch of them
 
Posts: 6
Location: Southern NH, zone 5a(ish)
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I'm in NH, not Ontario... but I found several sellers on Amazon, since I didn't know anyone growing them locally.  Once you have them established, you'll have them for life!
 
Colleen Mycroft
Posts: 4
Location: Palmer rapids Ontario Canada
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Amazon won’t mail to Canada for the sunchoke tubers. Already checked. I don’t know anyone who has them I am just driving by and thinking that they look like them. I think maybe the high grocery store might be the best option. I have never seen them before but maybe I wasn’t really looking. If I can get my hands on one or two I know that I would be all set! 😀
 
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https://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?product=X6141&show=&prodclass=Herb_and_Vegetable_Seeds&cart_id=111.100

hey i have been to palmer rapids before
canoed down the rapids too

i have been mineral digging many times east of there as well
nice area!
 
natasha todd
Posts: 93
Location: cornwall, england
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If you can't find any at the supermarket or farmers market keep an eye out for them on menus, a head chef will probably happily sell you a couple unpreped from the kitchen
 
pollinator
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Location: 6a
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I purchased mine from Akiva at Twisted Tree Farms in Upstate NY.     He may have some left.  They are extremely hardy,  well over six foot the first year.

Jerusalem Artichokes


 
pollinator
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I think Oikos Tree Crops will ship to Canada. https://oikostreecrops.com/products/?route=product/category&path=65_96
 
Colleen Mycroft
Posts: 4
Location: Palmer rapids Ontario Canada
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thanks S Drone, I know where Richters is actually! I will order from them! thanks!!

we moved there for the rapids. love it. Glad you had a good time canoeing. Message me if you ever come back.
 
s. drone
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will do
 
Posts: 18
Location: West-central Pennsylvania
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Colleen, I have three varieties. I agree, look around and learn what they look like. I bought one variety several years ago from an online retailer. Stampede is a white knobby tuber, a bit rough to get really clean under a top that's about 6' to 8' tall. They have about a 90+ day maturity, better probably better for farther north. I found a white Fuseau in the woods nearby a couple years later. They're a smooth white tuber, easily cleaned under a 12' top with a 120 day maturity. That makes a rather tall plant for in-town! I live on a 1 1/2 lot. That's not a lot of room! The third variety is a Red Fescue that I found in a tiny flower bed in-town just last year. I got three tubers out of that tiny garden. I divided them for the first time last fall. They're red of course, not as knobby as the Stampede under a 7' - 9' top with a 100+ day maturity. I know of at least two more gardens in-town that have 'chokes and out in the country ... I can't even count how many places I've seen them growing. We took a friend to Sandy Lake, about 90 miles away, just below Erie, PA. to a blackberry farm. All along one side of the fellow's barn was a patch of them. I asked the guy if he knew what he had and he had no clue. He does now! I'm in DuBois, PA., west central part of the state and its hard to say how many varieties there are just around here.
So, again, learn what the tops look like, go out looking for them right now and remember where they are growing. They are a native and decades ago they were very common. They are out there, you only have to find them. My Stampedes have stopped flowering and are starting to brown a bit. The Fuseau are in full flower right now. Keep that in mind. When the ones you find are browned, stop and chat with the owners and bum a handful of the tubers, or as much as you can and take them home. And if you've got the space, and you find more than one variety, GO FOR IT! Another great thing about getting what you can locally, they're acclimated! Plus, you won't have to pay up to $25 per pound! You won't have to do anything special to grow them! Just stick 'em in the ground and step back!
Remember that they will take over and conquer any garden patch you put them in, so plant them where you want them and nothing else for the long haul. They can be contained by regular mowing, so you can keep them from spreading, but it's difficult to mix them with anything else.
Good luck!
My wife and I like to can them, plain like potatoes, pickles, relish and in salsa. I'm thinking about drying some chips this fall and having a supply of chips that we can dust with herbs or spices for snacks and we'll also grind some for flour for flat breads. You can do anything with them. I've made wine from the tubers and the flowers. The tuber wine is stout, but it makes a great cooking wine! Right now, I've got a pot of French Onion soup cooling on the stove that has some English Thyme, Peppermint, a dash of Turmeric, beef stock and a good portion of 'choke tuber wine. It is Fantastic!
 
Colleen Mycroft
Posts: 4
Location: Palmer rapids Ontario Canada
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Thank you that is excellent information. We have 5 acres and a hillside that I would like to plant on.
I noticed there seems to be lots of variety. I think I recognize them on the roadside. I will go out looking this weekend!
 
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Location: Pee Gee, Bee Cee, Cee Aye En Aye Dee Aye
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West Coast Seeds will likely have them again in the spring.

https://www.westcoastseeds.com/shop/seasonal/jerusalem-artichokes/
 
Blaine Clark
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Location: West-central Pennsylvania
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Colleen, think twice about the varieties that seed. Birds and squirrels can carry those seeds around. Once established, they can be a bear to get rid of. The eastern varieties I mentioned don't seed, spreading only by root, making them less likely to get out of hand. The Great Plains varieties that normally grow in the midwest up into Canada's grain belt are the ones that normally seed. They also require direct sunlight. Our eastern varieties can tolerate some shade.
Here are some of the varieties;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helianthus
 
Posts: 13
Location: Toronto, Canada
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I'm in Toronto, and Augusta Fruit Market in Kensington Market carries them almost all the time... though my research tells me that spring is the best time to plant sunchokes?

M
 
Blaine Clark
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Its hard to keep the tubers in good shape for several months, so its best to plant them in the fall. Some have said they can best be stored over winter in containers mixed with dirt or sand or sawdust, but I've never tried that.
You can harvest them either in the fall or in the spring before the ground warms to 50°F or 10°C. That temp. triggers them to sprout. In the fall you'll get the full benefit of the Inulin for your gut bacteria as its a fantastic prebiotic, but you can also get anywhere from no gas effects to severe gas and bloating, depending on your gut health.
You can harvest them in the spring, again before the ground warms to 50°F or 10°C. That temp. triggers them to sprout, after the long winter freeze which converts the Inulin to Fructose. They'll be sweeter and you'll lose the good and bad effects of the Inulin.
 
pollinator
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Location: BC Interior, Zone 6-7
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Norton Naturals is in Ontario and they have two varieties of sunchokes left.  Lots of other fun stuff, too.
 
Posts: 96
Location: BC Canada Zone 5&6
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I love sunchokes. I have no idea what variety I have but was told it is the flowering variety. I too wanted them for the bees but I have yet to have my plants go to flower in the last 2 years. I am giving it one more year and if no flowers I too will be looking into a new variety.

My tubers are a purplish colour. I dig all mine up every fall then replant. I do this so I can be sure I did not leave too many behind, and so I can also space them accordingly. The first year when I got them it was too late to plant them so I actually stored them in a plastic bag with some soil in my cold room. The cold room sits around 35F all winter and the sunchokes lasted until May. I currently have lots in a wooden box and some are already going soft. I love these raw in salads, fried, boiled, mashed, in a stirfry. They cook up so fast and taste so creamy.

I dug one plant up around July, by this time they were planted four months and the tubers were just tiny marble size babies. I finally dug them up late Sept and most were a nice size. I was hoping to find the picture of the tall green plants before I dug them up but sadly I could not find it.

If mine finally flowers next year I would be happy to send some to you, Colleen. Otherwise, Good luck finding what you are looking for and please keep us posted as to where you finally found some.
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master steward
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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It's sunroot season in my local grocery store. You might check a few of the high end stores in your area to see if they currently have sunroots for sale.

 
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If you mention permies to me I will send you extra tubers!!

These are stampede/wild hybrids as far as I know big mouse and drought resistant.  Toughest plant I grow.  Been selecting for 4 years now in northwest Ohio.


#etsy shop: Sunchokes https://etsy.me/2RGgoEB
 
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