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Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes

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Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/27/2011, 3:24 pm

Shannon, in answer to your post, here's a bit about Sunchokes: Sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) are North American native plants, historicaly prized as food by our Native Americans. They are easy to grow. Some say too easy to grow because even the smallest tuber left behind at harvest will grow a new plant. We started our patch with a couple of large tubers purchased at a farmers' market because they were less "nobby" than most 'chokes we'd seen, AND they tasted great. In late summer, the 'choke patch sets flowers which look like a poor cousin to sunflowers (to which 'chokes are related). Definitely remove the flowers unless you want the birds or squirrels to replant your 'chokes in places you don't expect. Were I to plant 'chokes in a SFG, I'd make a hardware cloth "basket" to line the square(s) where the tubers were to be planted. Then in the late fall, early winter when the tubers are largest, pulling up the basket would be instant harvest, with no volunteers left behind. Our plants live in a row beyond the grapes, where the soil is the red clay much beloved by Willamette Valley Pinot Noir producers. The 'chokes seem to like it as well as the grapes do.

Okay, that's my start to the thread. Anyone else out there with experience with these veggies?

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Re: Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/27/2011, 3:42 pm

Please add into this, folks. Some of us hosts are working on Sunchokes for another "rookie topic" that should appear soon.

We are loving this theme of lesser known veggies, and appreciate all the great feedback and helpful suggestions you all are giving us.
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Re: Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes

Post  walshevak on 4/27/2011, 3:45 pm

My aunt made the best sweet pickles out of artichokes. Wish I had asked her for the recipe.

Kay

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Re: Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes

Post  boffer on 4/27/2011, 3:58 pm

They're butt-ugly. Use them like you would a potato. They taste like a potato with just a touch of sweet to them. They make a great substitution for potatoes for folks who can't eat potatoes because of...is it the gluten? Not sure about that. They can grow 4-6 feet tall. I planted 3-4/sf.

This will be my second season of growing them. They're a keeper for me.
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Sunchokes

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/27/2011, 4:14 pm

Boffer, I think you're refering to the inulin (not gluten) in the 'chokes. Inulin isn't easily digested by humans, so it can cause flatulence (which is why we don't serve them at dinner parties). Laughing
Boy, would I like to have a sweet pickle recipe for them, though. If anyone has such, please, please post it.

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Re: Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes

Post  boffer on 4/27/2011, 4:25 pm

LOL I had forgotten about the gas. Sometimes it shows up, sometimes it doesn't.

We had a thread last fall, that of course I can't find right now, where several folks mentioned that there was something in potatoes that they couldn't eat, but 'that something' wasn't present in sunchokes. There's never a nutritionist around when ya need one!

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Re: Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/27/2011, 4:32 pm

Some diabetics try to avoid potatoes, bananas, and rice because the carbohydrates in those foods are so easy to digest quickly and it can cause an unwanted blood sugar spike. The aforementioned inability of humans to digest inulin is a plus for those with blood sugar concerns, mostly Type II diabetics. Now, us Type 1 types just dial up a little extra insulin before saying, "Please pass the potatoes."

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Re: Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes

Post  cienfuegos on 4/27/2011, 5:17 pm

the first time i tried planting them this year i tried soaking them in water to have them bud and they rotted. the second time i bought a bag of about 10 sunchokes at whole foods and all looked like they were old with a few eyes. all but one have begun growing under a large tree in boxes. Each plant is about 8-10 inches tall already and they have only been in the ground for about 2 1/2 to three weeks. I'll post the pics a little later this week when i get my cell phone in the mail. (my other phone was stolen).

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