Nova Scotia ‘choke Harvest

jerusalem artichoke harvest small

Jerusalem artichokes–so much bounty from so little ground, and with so little effort. An organic gardener’s dream crop.

Yesterday we harvested about 100 lbs of Jerusalem artichokes from a single, partial row of the Potato Patch. A mere 25 feet of row yielded all this, almost five pounds of food per linear foot. I know of nothing that yields so much food per cubic foot as the Jerusalem artichoke. And we have several thousand square feet planted back in the Elfwood, where we have allowed it to go wild, which it does so easily–a permanent and easily maintained emergency food supply.

Anyone with slightly to very acidic soil and a cool climate can grow these. Where you want them to grow for food, just till the ground as the tubers will only grow large if the ground is friable. They spread from rhizomes and maintain themselves effortlessly. To maintain the patch, just leave half of them in the ground every year, or set aside one tuber for every eighteen inches you want to plant. Or you can leave them alone and just let them spread. Trust me, they will.

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4 thoughts on “Nova Scotia ‘choke Harvest

  1. Spryte

    What are your two favorite recipes in which Jerusalem artichokes figure? How do you best enjoy their uniqueness?

    • I honestly don’t think we have two favorite recipes–at least not yet. Mostly, we just steam them and eat them whole. I find their flavor (at least of this variety) to be very similar in flavor and texture to artichoke hearts. We just boil them, drain, and then steam or boil again, sometimes in ham broth.

  2. When Alys Fowler did her series on TV over here (UK) some years back, she baked parboiled, sliced Jerusalem Artichokes in cream, a bit like Scalloped Potatoes, with fresh black pepper and the herb Savoury – think it was Winter Savoury. She reckons using Savoury in with ‘chokes and bean dishes is an absolute must, to avoid the resultant embarrassing wind! Hopefully, by double cooking them, you avoid the blushes! (No, I don’t need you to answer that!!)
    If anyone is vegan like me, you could either make a sauce or use a cream substitute. Yum!

    • We find boiling them til they’re soft does away with any flatulence potential attributable to this otherwise delectable and easily cultivated plant.

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