Harvesting Jerusalem artichoke

Harvesting Jerusalem artichoke

For tomorrow’s farmers’ market, Lynn, Andie and Jordan harvested more of this year’s Jerusalem artichoke. The tubers have gotten noticeably bigger since pulling some just a couple of weeks ago… Chokes are a really simple, satisfying harvest, at least, when you pull up the plants in their first year. These guys are spaced at 12″ (30cm), so we just grab the usually multiple stems at each spot and tug. The main root ball is shallow and contains most of the tubers: pull ‘em off, and bang the root clump a bit to get at the ones in the middle. You also have to scrabble around for maybe a hand’s width or two past the little root crater to find a few extra outlying tubers—guess that’s where the “invasive” part of choke lore begins, they do try to spread. Overall, though, it’s quick and easy, especially when the fall weather is mild like today. Nice!

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13 Responses to “Harvesting Jerusalem artichoke”

  1. Chiot's Run says:

    I’d love to try these sometime, maybe when I have a bit more garden space.

  2. miss m says:

    I’m growing these next year and am curious to know if you suggest leaving the bits in for a perpetual crop or do you start from scratch with new tubers every year ? 

    • Mike (tfb) says:

      Chiot’s Run: You’d probably enjoy growing even one or two plants. They’re pretty tall, but if you can fit one in, try! :)

      miss m: I suggest digging them up completely each year, and replanting again as early as you can in spring. I do this because I move the beds every year. I started because I’d read that they the roots (tubers) get increasingly gnarly as they grow from year to year, and also, the plants can become invasive. What I’ve found is that, even in our short Ontario growing season, chokes grow really well in one season from scratch, and it’s useful to move them around the field, as a windbreak, or just for…fun. But, experiment. They’re easy. Hope that helps!

  3. Matt Wilson says:

    I have three plants going right now.  All the leaves are green, and the flowers are slowly losing their yellow petals.
    How did you know that the plants were ready to harvest?  Did you wait until the plants were obviously dead?

  4. Mike (tfb) says:

    Matt: After frost is usually a good time, but you don’t have to wait for a particular plant stage, you can dig some up whenever, even a lot earlier in the season. But in late fall, after frost and when the plants have more or less died off, size and taste are better. You can also leave the tubers in the ground all winter as well, so if your soil doesn’t freeze solid, or you mulch the plants, you can harvest whenever you need them.

  5. John Andre Møller form Norway says:

    I hope i can be happy as you all are some day, some day i will have my one tiny farm, hopefully i Rendalen. This is the most beautiful please in the world. Please look it up on googleearth. My cabin is here and i hope to expand to a little farm and bring my family here some day.

  6. Nathan says:

    What do they taste like and what are they used for? I am not familar with them at all.

    -nathan

  7. Alan says:

    Hi

    I have some artichokes at one of my allotments in the uk (irst year) and I am looking to put some in at my other allotment would you say that this is the best time to move them ? I get the impression that the other allotment is more prone to frost ? would youput  mulch (straw / hay) over them as well ?

  8. cathy says:

    where’s mike …..we hope you are okay ….there hasn’t been any updates in ages
    our farm activities seemed to be running parallel to your activities
     
    what’s up now
     

  9. Mark Golding says:

    Hiya! I heard about you through Best Green Blogs, and I love what you are doing… Thank you! We have a group of websites, The Organic Home, and we would love to explore ways of communicating and sharing with you. To share ideas, information and plans would be such an exciting and positive way to go forward for us. We offer link exchange, we publish your blogs with full attribution and hotlinks direct to you, and offer full page listings on our ‘The Organic Sponsor’ page… It would be our honour to be able represent you in some way. There is NO CHARGE for these services, they are FREE. Our sites had over 8.5 Million hits last month and to share our growth with you would be our honour and privilege. Here at The Organic Home we say ‘we give to you’… Mark Golding

  10. elbowmarie says:

    mmmmmMike! I just had Lynnard and Rae here, and we ate lots of tiny farm veggies… Thank you, they were delish. Next time, come with them and we’ll whip up something yummy for you too.
    also… Lynnard says “get blogging” (but she used more swears)

  11. Paul says:

    Hey guys.. I really like you blog for that past few yeasr.. I really hope you get back to doing more frequent updates like you did in the past. It seemd the move to the new farm has changed everything?..

  12. Dawn says:

    Mike, where are you? We miss you!

  13. Mike (tfb) says:

    Sorry for the massive delays in posting. All kinds of things are happening around here. There’s lots of change, and it’s been distracting. Still, I do have all the photos and continue to take ‘em, and intend to keep on back-posting right to the beginning of last summer… Soon as things are settled in for winter, I’ll pick up the pace. At least, THAT’S THE PLAN! :)

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