Jerusalem Artichokes, brassicas and parsnips

These are our ‘overflow’ parsnips – we didn’t have enough space to plant all the parsnips we wanted, so we stuck in a row along the front of our runner beans, knowing that the soil wasn’t ideal (nor was the position, the leaves went over the path and got walked on a lot, and they were a nuisance to step over to get to the beans – most of the bean pods we failed to harvest were low growing ones we couldn’t find amongst the parsnip leaves) and they have come up rather forked but we’re still happy with them, as we haven’t even begun to harvest the ‘real’ parsnips in their properly prepared bed. Hope they are a bit straighter!

Steve Godley emailed thus: I have a block of brassicas containing brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers and curly kale. It is netted with ½” mesh netting against the pigeons but everything is covered with whitefly. At home in the garden I watch the bluetits and their friends searching through the treetops for similar insects I have just set some 2” wire mesh on two sides of the enclosure in the hope that smaller birds (bluetits and the like) will get in and feast on the whitefly. Has anyone already tried this? Or is there another way to get rid of whitefly?

Well, the only remedy I’ve found for whitefly is soapy water sprayed on at regular intervals. I know that all the gardening books say that whitefly does little or no harm to a plant, but a proper infestation will definitely stop the brassica growing properly, and it is horrible to have to wash thousands of flies (and eggs) off the convoluted leaves of something like curly kale. What we need is a good frost to kill the little blighters off, but no sign of that so far.

Jerusalem artichokes – the jury is still out, but the jury foreperson (me) is inclining towards a ‘guilty’ verdict. They definitely to induce wind, which is rather embarrassing if you spend all day with the public, as Himself does, but also, we weren’t thrilled by the flavour. I cooked three or four in a beef casserole and the results were truly flatulent. We’ll try twice more and if we don’t like them any better the third time, we will not be eating them again!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Blogger Jo said...

Oh dear, perhaps you'd be better making Friday's dinner with them, then Himself will have all weekend to get rid of his embarrassment before going back to work.

November 25, 2009 at 2:56 AM  
OpenID nipitinthebud said...

they are an acquired taste and I think they work best in a dedicated jerusalem artichoke dish rather than adding as a vegetable like you would a potato. Our favourite recipe is this soup and it's been a big hit with everyone who's tried it - from a 2 year old to a friend who swore off jerusalem artichokes after a particularly windy experience.

Souping artichokes seems to reduce the wind factor and we've had no problems with eating this and mingling in polite company! Except once - when eaten with home made bread which I think was more to do with the fermented yeast than the artichokes. Enjoy ;o)

November 25, 2009 at 3:17 AM  
OpenID said...

I have white-fly too but have left it alone as it's only been on my purple sprouting broccoli and brussels neither of which I will harvest until next for the Jerusalem artichokes...I think you might be putting me off trying

November 25, 2009 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Nip, that's very interesting. We certainly have PLENTY of jerusalem artichokes to experiment with, so I shall go and dig some up tomorrow and try this - thank you for the suggestion.

Jo, sadly, Himself works on Saturday mornings too - no rest for the wicked (or the wind!)

November 27, 2009 at 8:34 AM  

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