Frozen chokes harvest

Jerusalem artichoke frozen harvest

Despite the six inches (15cm) of snow on the big garden, fieldwork goes on. Today, I harvested about 30lbs (13.5kg) of Jerusalem artichoke out of the partially frozen ground, just to be sure planting stock is around over winter in case I need it. Since we don’t have a root cellar or walk-in cooler, storing crops in the ground as winter comes along is a risky but useful alternative. There’s still lots of carrot, parsnip, and some more chokes out there. Until the ground is frozen several inches or more down, it’s possible to harvest, although too much snow can make the whole thing a little crazy. Once thoroughly frozen, I’ve found carrots get killed off and thaw to mush, while parsnip and chokes withstand freezing just fine, staying alive and available again in spring. So far, though, everything’s still cool for digging. You can see the ice crystals in the frozen crust (above), but below that, it’s all cold, friable soil and plump, healthy choke tubers…

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