Skip to content

Return to Jerusalem artichoke

First-season Jerusalem artichoke

Various garden experiments are going on here and there. The new oats and fall rye green manure cover crops are doing well. There are five or six tarragon starters, three divisions from a potted lovage, coriander seed dried on the standing plants… Several varieties of hot peppers have to be given a final performance check. And so on. One I keep noticing and promptly forgetting again is the Jerusalem artichoke, planted so long ago. They’re definitely tough. The fuzzy-textured leaves seem rather delicate and wilt alarmingly without water, but they’ve survived with little weeding and maybe one watering all season, and they’re looking happy now.

Jerusalem artichoke line-up

Another unusual characteristic, compared to almost all of the other veggies and herbs, is how un-uniform they are, at least in this first year, with plants of all heights, ranging from around a foot to over three feet (30-90+ cm). There’s not much variation in leaf size, simply in…height. Well, JA’s supposed to be prolific—we’ll soon see when I check in on the gnarly tubers down below…!



  1. Rob

    you mentioned the Oat experiment. I am trying something where I plant black eyed peas for nitrogen fixation and oats together in the same field, at the same time. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    You can find my blog post on the project here;

    These are not the most recent photos. I’ll include those in another post coming up.

    Great blog! I am enjoying it immensly. You doing anything on Orchards lately? I am doing some initial planning. Any advice would be great.

  2. Rob: Sounds and looks great! The photos and notes are cool, it’s good to have our little experiments documented for others, even as we know they’ve all been done before. I sometimes think (usually, in the fall and winter quieter time…:) how we’re perhaps the future of hands-on farming in our society (I’m talking North America, at least), since there seem to be very few generational farmers, learning from birth and taking over from their parents, and many bigger, fully working “family farms” are more industrial, tractor-minded. So it’s like, we’re starting tinier, personal farming from scratch, with all the resources we need floating around, but few real like-minded examples to check out…so far.

    I’ve taken a long time getting into green manures and cover crops, because I’ve had on-farm manure, and such small open sections by freeze-up, and so many other things to do. But now I’m hooked, and everything I’ve read about ’em in the last few years is bubbling up. I want to try mixes, like legumes and grasses, I’m now spending some time sourcing. It’s hard to make sure bulk seed isn’t treated, even the local big feed company isn’t always sure. I’m not concerned so much about following the organic standard itself (i.e. certification), more about how residual inputs I’m not even aware of could affect the whole process!

    I’ll keep checking out your stuff! If you feel like it, you may want to create a thread on peas-and-oats in the tiny farm forum and post updates back to your site whenever you get a chance… I dunno if it’s the best way to help make more info available, but on this blog, at least, it’s probably more convenient than threads in comments under individual posts…

    • Good for you sweety.. I tell ya when my antxiey is heightened I also have a difficult time getting to the doctor, therapist etc.. I remember in therapy telling her how hard it was to just go to the appts I really just wanted to cancel but I knew how important it was to go and if I didn’t, my antxiey will do nothing but get worse.. anyway, I know how hard it is to have that type of antxiey but its hugely awesome that you made it out to the doctors so make sure to give yourself credit for winning over the fears Your doing great and Im so sorry you are sick, B-12 shot is a great idea.. Keep up the good work..

  3. Dr. Jayashree Joshi

    I enjoyed reading this blog on tiny farming, and esp the neat photos of rosemary and chives.
    I’m in India and am always looking for ways and means to grow temperate-climate herbs in my tropical climate, because I’m an avowed herbalist-Pediatrician and I need to have as many fresh herbs as I can.
    A wonderful blog, keep it up!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.