Thursday, 17 October 2013

Jerusalem Artichokes

These knobbly root tubers are a perennial  plant. They are very easy to grow and are high yielding. 
Once you plant them, they will emerge each year and can spread like a weed if you are not careful. It can be difficult to remove them from your garden unless you are careful to remove each and every tuber. 
They are similar to potatoes in their uses in the kitchen but are supposed to be healthier, but I can't remember why!

They are related to the sunflower. They provide beautiful tall plants during the summer that die back after hard frost. They can grow to ten plus feet. 
They are very hardy and do not suffer much from pests and disease, they need little to no maintenance. You can harvest them as you need them after the first frost, the remainder will overwinter happily in the soil until they are required.

This is our first year to harvest them. We planted three tubers that we bought at a farmers market last year. They are difficult to find here and I haven't seen them since for sell.
Those three tubers have produced a large yield. We have harvested a large buckets worth of them so far. The rest we will leave for deeper winter. 
I set aside 20-30 small tubers that I have planted along a wall to provide shelter and privacy.
They seem like a wonderful veg that it surprises me that more people don't grow them. Do you?  


  1. I grew them for years for the goats, who loved the stalks and leaves. They now grow in several places in the garden - wether I want them to or not! The longer you leave them the bigger the tubers, which are easier to handle.
    One of the positives is that you can use them in a similar way to potatoes,but they are low in calories. However, they are not called Fartichokes for nothing!

  2. Never seen these in our part of the world, neither growing or as a vegetable.
    Sounds like a good one to try though.

  3. Sounds like a great foodstuff for goats, I had thought that they would be good for rooting pigs also.
    I have given away plenty of tubers to friends to grow. As you can't buy them here either and very few people have even heard of them.

  4. We grew artichokes as a vegetable for the kitchen a couple of years. One cook-up and never again will I eat the artichoke as a veg. The wind was horrendous, never before have I experienced such a howling gale in my tummy! My husband was even worse, in fact we both had to take to our bed for a few hours (any excuse!!) But, it is a splendid garden plant, and the pigs love the leaves, stalks, and tubers, so we still grow it in profusion, but not for us to eat! Once was enough!


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