Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Focus on.... Jerusaleum Artichokes

It's been a bad day. I swear if I hadn't a skeleton, my body would still be upright and workable ~ my muscles are so tense and I am running on adrenalin. I'm a tiny bit of a mess. Still not sleeping much these nights (that's almost 12 weeks now!) and therefore the double vision is worse and the depression and the anxiety and I've been crying; my brain is fried.

I do want to learn about these Jerusaleum Artichokes though, so I'll get one or 2 of our new Christmas books out and  try to unravel the mystery of these tasty tubers. I just need a doze first, please Mr Sandman.....

Ah that helped and Andrew is home and we're settled on the sofa together - bliss.

So, Jerusaleum Artichokes then. We did have 2 here on Sunday but they were chopped up and put in a gorgeous stew before I could take a photo. Not that they are very exciting to look at...

* They are low maintence, prolific perennials, best planted out between January and March
* Their knobbly tubers can be harvested between October and March (that's a great harvest period!)
* They are tall wind break plants, produce lots of compostable material and have very lovely sunflower-like blooms in the late summer.
* I can also testify to their super tastiness - something like a nutty earthy potato and according to my book 'Veg Patch', they are high in potassium, iron, fibre and lots of other vitamins and minerals.

Sounds great, eh? It gets even better when you realise that they just need plonked into the soil 15cm down and 60cm apart and left there!!! All you have to do is wait until harvest time and in the meantime enjoy them growing up tall and showing off their flowers, they even like frost. Leave them in the ground and only harvest as needed; they store best in the ground. Lastly, you get around 2kg for each tuber planted, just leave some behind for next year and let the joy perpetuate.

They can be treated just like a spud (except they'd be crap baked and stuffed with cheese - too small!); mashed, chopped in soups (and risottos), roasted and baked to make lovely crisps.

I urge you to grow, harvest, eat and enjoy! xx


  1. You didn't mention wind - or haven't you got to that bit yet?

  2. hey - just want to mention that unless you have a big space, jerusalem artichokes will take over! My neighbor has enough for all of us, but hers have really spread dramatically. Double vision, though? Bummer.. Can you grow your own cures? Valerian root, St. John's Wort, something~

  3. That is actually dead interesting, I have seen those things before and also heard of Jerusalem artichokes but didn't put the two together! Am always on the lookout for new things to cook so I might try to find some. I'll let you know how I get on! Lauranx

  4. Allot of Veg - do you mean bottom burps??

    JP - There aren't nothing that can fix my double vision - even had 2 ops and that made it worse. I just had to live with it, nevermind :)

    Lauran - Oh do try them, life is all about little adventures xxx

  5. rosemary xx Pearl on growveg.info6 January 2010 at 16:59

    I love them - grew them for the first time last year - and in sacks, which makes harvest sooo easy!

    Lauren, if you would like some I could send you some of mine -- they're these ones -- Oh I can't do a link in here but go on www.growveg.info and find jerusalem artichokes and the 'boston red' page. It's no bother to pop some in the post....if you would like some send me a pm on growveg (good excuse to join!!) :D

  6. << They are tall wind break plants, produce lots of compostable material>>

    Someone is taking the mickey!!!

    They make wonderful buttery tasting soup. Same family as the sunflower. Yes they can take over your plot, but to get a reasonably sized tubor you need to stop them overcrowding. Find a corner for them where they won't shade other crops.

  7. That's a very refined way of putting it....

  8. I hope you enjoy your Artichokes and hope you get some peaceful nights sleep. With my Lyme problems I used to take soluable aspirin for the pain/inflamation and it helped enormously to get good quality sleep i used to take soluable with plenty food and something to drink about an hour before bedtime try it and see if it helps you after checking it doesn't clash with any other medication you are on.

  9. Peark - that's an incredibly kind offer, thank-you! I am about to fly back to Ireland for a funeral this morning but when I get back I will check in local supermarket, and if they are difficult to source I might well take you up on your offer! Thanks again for being so thoughtful, Lauranxx

  10. 2kg per tuber planted is going some - I got much much less than that - but then they did get burnt to cinders by the wind.... - and we've not even eaten them yet

  11. The wind issue is... terrifying. But God, how tasty they are. Worth it.

    One thing folks may find helpful is that there is a variety called Fuseau whose tubers are smooth, not knobbly. Makes them so much easier to peel. HIghly recommended.


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