Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I had planted several J-chokes and they all came on very well. Undemanding plants that seem to thrive in my soil.

Unfortunately in our climate they don't seem to grow fat tubers and mine always tend to be spindly. Tasty and nutty but very convoluted. Despite that, I harvest about 3 kilogram per plant. In any gardening option, that's good value for neglected corners.

So I clean them with a tooth brush!

Previously I've roasted them or fried them with bayleaves but their best kept secret is steamed or boiled and mashed. Eaten raw they are crisp and nutty -- so they go well in salads --but mashed, new flavours take off...you can also combine them with potatoes and mash the two together.

This is my second season growing Jerusalem artichokes and we find that at least I eat them all. Baked is not popular at maison d'ave but praise indeed is forthcoming as a mash.

I don't peal them as mine grow a very light skin: no need.

An exciting vegetable to harvest. They are like digging for gold nuggets.Since they don't keep well after harvest I simply store them in situ and dig up bits and bobs as it suits me. in my sandy soil, this time of year, soil storage works well.

I've not been able to maintain growth between harvests and must replant each year. Down south, they persist and spread like weeds --  but here they function as very well behaved annuals. 

As food, Jerusalem artichokes are extraordinarily good for you.(SUMMARYWith large amounts of inulin they are  #1 prebiotic.

But too much of a good thing at one sitting earns them their 'fartichoke' label.

I've also discovered a J-choke lacto ferment so I can keep the good times a'comin'. It's a sort of sauerkraut made from the tubers which also offers the advantage that the gaseous side effect is subdued.

Easy to grow. Lovely flowers. Sunflower family. 

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I didn't have any luck with mine, but I grew them in my first gardening season.  I might try them again next spring.

Actually I fib (so I now realise): I had grown them before ...and without luck either -- a few years back. Stems and flowers and no tubers to speak of. This time around -- and last time with success  too -- I grew them in mounds and in part shade. The soil wasn't great but drained well --as is my norm. 

My rationale was that since they are a southern plant I'd harness shade to make up for latitude. I bought the tubers at a vegetable produce store and simply planted them. 

The tops of mine have been dying off for some weeks. I must dig down and see what harvest I have.

I recommend eating asap when fresh as the longer they are left out of the ground the more likely you are to suffer some nasty painful tum wind upon consumption.

I do have Jerusalem Artichokes growing at the moment. A nice surprise as they are hangovers from previous plantings. They are not so keen about the heat here  in SEQ and not only die back but die. So you have to replant them every year.

Easy to grow with a sunflower flower -- same fam. Have a nutty flavour which I appreciate. Really good for you.

And your farts will be healthy: aka fartichokes.

Related in nutritional attributes is YACON-- which embraces our climate keenly. Plant out by root division (by the corms with J-chokes). From one plant you just keep dividing at each harvest..

I grow them but have been disappointed in their flavour. I then found I was making a culinary mistake. After harvest, they really need to be CURED for 2 weeks to bring out their sweetness. Put em in a sack and leave them in  a dry environment as though they are a COVID 19 worry. 

Here is a good introduction to both plants:

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