Grow Jerusalem Artichoke – It’s Really Easy

Message From My For What It’s Worth Department Some time Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning White Butt longhorn cow delivered. We now have a brand new black with white markings bull calf, weighing in at about 65 or 70 pounds is on the ground. He’s seems to be healthy and staying very close to his mother.

sunflowers Suprise! Jerusalem artichoke is not from Jerusalem, and it is not a artichoke. All though both are members of the daisy family.
The origin of the name is uncertain. Italian settlers in the USA called the plant girasole, the Italian word for sunflower, because of its resemblance to the garden sunflower Over time, the name girasole may have been corrupted to Jerusalem. The English later corrupted girasole artichoke (meaning, “sunflower artichoke”) to Jerusalem artichoke. There have been various other names applied to the plant, such as the French or Canada potato, topinambour, and lambchoke. Sunchoke, a name by which it is still known today, was invented in the 1960s by Frieda Caplan, a produce wholesaler who was trying to revive the plant’s market appeal.

The artichoke part of the Jerusalem artichoke’s name comes from the taste of its edible tuber. Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer, sent samples of the plant to France, noting its taste was similar to an artichoke.

It’s tubers are elongated and uneven, typically 3 or 4 inches long and 1 to 3 inches in diameter and vaguely resemble ginger root in appearance, with a crisp texture when raw. They vary in color from pale brown to white, red, or even purple. sunflower-roots

Jerusalem artichokes are easy to cultivate. The tubers are sometimes used as a substitute for potatoes. They have a similar consistency, and in their raw form have a similar texture, but a sweeter, nuttier flavor, raw and sliced thinly, they are fit for a salad. The carbohydrates give the tubers a tendency to become soft and mushy if boiled, but they retain their texture better when steamed.

Jerusalem artichokes have 650 mg potassium per 1 cup (150g) serving. They are also high in iron, and contain 10-12% of the US RDA of fiber, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus and copper.

In Baden-Württemberg, Germany, over 90% of the Jerusalem artichoke crop is used to produce a spirit called “Topinambur”, “Topi” or “Rossler”. By the end of the 19th century Jerusalem artichokes were being used in Baden to make a spirit called “Jerusalem Artichoke Brandy”, “Jerusalem Artichoke”, “Topi”, “Erdäpfler”, “Rossler” or “Borbel”. Jerusalem artichoke brandy smells fruity and has a slight nutty-sweet flavor.

Jerusalem artichoke would be fun crop to experiment with. Planting along the back of your garden plot. Not only will you get a eatable crop but you will have a nice sunflower display in the back of your garden as well.

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19 responses to “Grow Jerusalem Artichoke – It’s Really Easy

  1. Didn’t know they had such beautiful flowers! Had been planning to grow Jerusalem artichoke this year – just need to find somewhere to buy them.

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    • Re silverbells2012 – Thank for visiting ma little blog and your comment(s). The last ones that I planted I got from my supermarket. I selected smaller tubers for planting in my garden.

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  2. Nice blog and really enjoyed the comments. Never occurred to me to grow them in a mongo-sized pot. (Duh!) I grew them in the ground once and they were the only plant that drove me to use the herbicide Roundup. LOL. My mother had grown them in the ground with no problems, but they seemed bent on world domination in my yard! I love eating them though. I’ll probably pick up some roots at the health food store and plant them rather than eat them.

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    • Re mylittlefarmintown Thanks for your visit and comment(s). Have you considered cutting the bottom out of a 5 or 6 gallon plastic bucket, bury it in the garden an refill with garden soil to plant them in?
      Happy carefree summer gardening

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  3. Julianna @My Watering Can

    I grew these for the first time last year. I started them in a huge pot in the house in April and moved the pot outside. They grew so tall, the pot kept blowing over with the high winds here in Illinois. Still, we got a really nice crop. We plan to anchor that pot in our garden plot and plant them again this year. Because they can be invasive, we won’t be at our garden community plots forever, and don’t want to leave behind what someone may not want. It’s so nice to have a perennial though, with a survival food that can be grown with no upkeep at all except water, year after year. They are real water lovers for sure! If we ever get some permanent place to garden, I may consider growing them in the soil.

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    • Re Julianna @My Watering Can – Thanks for taking time to visit my humble blog and for your comment(s).
      You may want to consider digging a hole in the garden to bury your pot in the garden during the growing season.
      I hope you enjoy the flowers from your project.

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      • Julianna @My Watering Can

        Yes, we’ll be digging a hole to keep it stabilized! Even a a huge pot full of wet dirt blows over here, due to the height of the canes and flowers. =) We had it tied to the porch but the rope kept slipping off.

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  4. I just planted several of them in 3 – 5 gallon containers. I wanted to keep them out of the garden soil itself after horror stories of them taking over THE ENTIRE WORLD… or something like that.

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    • Re JonesGardenBlog Thanks for visiting my little blog and your comment(s).
      I have not found them to be invasive as some suggest. However that may be due to my heavy clay soil and other weather conditions may not be favorable for them becoming invasive.
      Good luck, on your potted Jerusalem artichokes

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  5. Congrats on your new calf! My grandfather used to raise Black Angus, but he hasn’t had any for a few years now. I am definitely going to have to try growing Jerusalem artichokes. Pretty and edible. What more could you ask for?

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  6. I just discovered these this winter. A friend has a long line of them by her house and gave me a mess. (Mess, n. Southern for large quantity, potful) I planted some in a corner of my back yard and we’ve been eating the rest. I’ve been seeing articles and blog posts about them all over the internet ever since. The synchronicity is cracking me up.

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    • Re Kitty Cunningham – Thanks for visiting my little blog and your comment(s).
      Mine are planted between the house and our north cow pasture and are most used as ornamental flowers.
      Good eating and Happy gardening

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  7. I’ve been planning on trying to grow sunchokes this year…I was warned to grow them in a large container, then dump it out on a tarp to harvest, as they can be vey invasive in the garden. Any tiny bit of tuber left in the ground will re-grow.
    Are you going to give them a go?

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    • Re gardenfreshtomatoes Thanks for visiting my little blog and for your comment(s).
      Yes, I will. I have a few planted between me and our north pasture fence. I mostly grow them as ornamental plants. Sad smile, last summer I didn’t get my electric fence up in time and the longhorn cows eat them back to ground level just as they started to bloom.
      Have a fun productive summer garden

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  8. Ohhhh! All this time I didn’t know what sunchokes were, but I’ve grown Jerusalem artichokes. Duh!!

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