Growing Jerusalem Artichoke
Its name, Jerusalem Artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus,
does not, as it seems, imply that it grows in Palestine, but is a corruption
of the Italian Girasola articiocco. The North Italian word articiocco
comes through the Spanish, from the Arabic Al-Kharshuf.
False etymology has corrupted the word in many languages: it has been derived (though wrongly) in English from 'choke' and 'heart,' or the Latin hortus, a garden, and in French, the form artichaut has been connected with chaud, hot, and chou, a cabbage.
Beauty, food and windshield
However you like it, it is a very beautiful and easily
grown plant. It is enough to forget a small piece of the root in the soil
in autumn, and you have a new plant in the spring. One can say that the
only way to get rid of the artichoke is to move to another place.
There are several varieties, of which the most important are the late (or never) flowering, and the early flowering which flower in august -september. There are also different types of tuber foms. Some are quite smooth and easy to peel.
The tubers grow best in late autumn, why it is best to let the stay in
the ground as long as possible, at least until the leaves have wilted.
The tubers are hardy and will keep well in the ground throughout the winter,
but in hard frost, they are nearly impossible to dig out. A layer of straw
will prevent this problem.
If you harvest the tubers, they will easily dry and become soft. The best way to keep them is in moist sand, the same way as carrots.
the late autumn, the artichoke tubers grow at best, but as the frost has
made all the leaves wither, you can start harvesting them. The best is
to let them stay in the soil until needed, but if you expect hard frost,
you can take up some of them and put them into a box of sand in the cellar.
You can also cut the stalks and put a thick layer of straw over the plants, so you can go on harvesting in the winter.
this way, you get a very good soup/purée (depending on the amount
It suits very well for an autumn dinner or lunch. N.B. The stored carbohydrate of the artichoke is inulin, which differs from the starch of the potato. If you are not used to it, your stomach will rumble. The only thing you an do about that is to eat artichokes or black salsify more often.
Next year, all the tubers left, and all small pieces of roots that you didn't find last year, will grow up and create a hedge of new plants. If you don't like it to be so, you have to be very careful when you harvest them. The only sure way to get rid of artichokes, is to move avay from them.