Jerusalem Artichoke
 
 

Jerusalem Artichoke - Tuber

Helianthus tuberosus  

Delicious edible tubers!

Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) produces delicious edible tubers. The plants can reach a height of no less than 2-3 M. The tubers should be planted 10-15 cm deep and spaced 30 cm apart. When the plant turns brown in November, the tubers can be harvested. Jerusalem Artichoke is resistant to frost.
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Jerusalem Artichokes are ready to plant on receipt and require no special treatment before planting.Heliantus tuberosus (Jerusalem Artichoke) are used in three ways:

  1. As a vegetable (delicious and good for you!)
  2. For the flowers (in North Western Europe the plant grows lovely decorative flowers in warm summers)
  3. As a wind break - These sturdy plants grow to 2-3 metres and do keep that pesky wind off!

How to plant

Plant in the garden - March-May.

Plant your Jerusalem Artichokes in the garden from March through May, preferably in full sun. Loosen the soil with a fork to at least 30 cm. Draw a straight furrow and label the row. Dig a hole15 cm deep, at 30 cm intervals and place one Jerusalem Artichoke per hole. Cover with soil, press firmly down and water immediately. Extra rows at a minimum of 75 cm apart.

The Jerusalem Artichoke has been grown for many many years by North American Indians. 'Discovered' by a Frenchman, he brought them to Europe, giving them the French name and making them known around the world. They are nowadays grown everywhere as a source of starch in cooking.

Helianthus tuberosus is a member of the Asteraceae family (or Compositae, both names are valid). It is a cousin of the sun flower and in warm summers, it's lovely yellow 'sun flowers' (only smaller) appear.

Jerusalem Artichokes are good for you!
The Jerusalem Artichoke is a very healthy vegetable and is really good for you. It contains lots of good minerals and sugars (fructans and inulins) as well as biotin, iron, sodium, and potassium. Inulin is particularly interesting and this particular sugar can be eaten by people with diabetes without it affecting their blood sugar levels. For people not suffering from diabetes, these tubers are very healthy.

Use

Jerusalem Artichoke will only keep for a short while in the fridge. Peel as you would a potato although young tubers can be eaten with peel on. Add some lemon juice to the cooking water to prevent discolouration.

Jerusalem Artichoke replaces potato so use where you would use them. They taste somewhat sweet, and slightly nutty.
They add flavour to any dish, whether boiled or stir fried, eaten with meat and 2 veg. or in soup. Raw Jerusalem Artichoke goes great in a salad and in sauces.

The Jerusalem Artichoke will thrive in soil that was well fertilised the previous winter. Do not add any more manure when planting. Water extra in periods of drought and keep the bed free of weeds and your Jerusalem Artichoke will do well.

Harvesting

Harvest period: November to January

Jerusalem Artichokes can be harvested from the first frosts. It is best to leave them in the ground. Harvest only the amount you need per meal. Dig up the whole plant each time. You should be able to harvest 10-30 Kg from a patch 2m².


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