Allotment crops for November – Jerusalem Artichokes

Well, they aren’t artichokes, and they don’t come from Jerusalem. That’s a corruption of Girasol, apparently, which means they are part of the sunflower family, and if you’ve grown them, the flowers are a bit of a give-away on that subject, looking just like half-starved sunflowers as they do.

So … we have a healthy crop of Jerusalems from the tubers we were given almost exactly a year ago. The photo shows the haul from just one plant and we have eleven. Which means that if we don’t like them, we’ll have to find somebody to give them away to.

They are a great crop for the new allotment-holder, with a few caveats and reservations. They grow tall and fast, providing a bit of a windbreak or blocking off a bit of unsightly plot from public view and they aren’t too fussy about soil conditions. The caveats are that they need staking in most regions as they are easily blown about, and they can be invasive if you don’t get every tuber out of the ground when you dig them up. The reservations? Only one: they are wind-inducing!

From what I’ve read, the wind-creating properties drop the more you eat them, as the body adjusts to them, which means, I suppose gales followed in a few weeks by calm. They are also a bit fiddly to prepare as they are both knobbly and prone to discolour so you have to put them straight into acidulated water as you peel them. Given our harvest, I’m simply cutting off the knobbliest bits and discarding them. We’re having them for dinner tonight so watch this space …

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, November 17, 2009


OpenID said...

I really have no idea how you would cook these or what you would eat them with so I am keen to find out your reactions and methods to them...I must say they don't look very appetizing!!

November 18, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

I've never tried Jerusalem Artichokes, you'll have to let us know how they tasted.

November 19, 2009 at 2:48 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Hmm, I shall be posting next week, but don't rush out and buy any until I do, okay?

November 20, 2009 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger Mal's Allotment said...

They make a fantastic buttery soup. Can't be beaten. Can't think how else I've ever had them.

November 23, 2009 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Mal, that's exactly what I've been advised to do elsewhere, so I'm off to harvest more and try making soup this weekend! Thanks for the tip!

November 27, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

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