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Jerusalem artichoke Helianthus tuberosus

Imagining the vegetable most easy to grow and giving a huge harvest, I can only think of Jerusalem artichoke. You only have to plant a tuber once, then you have it growing for years on the same spot. No need for rotation every year. Harvest can take place as the tubers are needed during late autumn, winter and early spring. It’s not really hard work, but the only work needed. Leave it alone during summer, spend your time in other parts of the garden, maybe in a sunchair?
It’s worthwhile to learn a little about the available clones before planting the first. Taste is an important factor, as well as height. They come dwarf-, man- and giant tall. Some flowers early, others to late to have them in flower, at least in my garden. Flowers are yellow.

My Jerusalem artichoke grow 2½ meter, flowers every year, and grows in my flowerbed. Labour is minimized to harvesting. It’s a clone that doesn’t run far in a season. The harvest is important, you can’t really harvest too many tubers. There will allways be one or two hiding in the ground for next season. If you harvest too few tubers, next year they become crowded, small and knobby.

Some say you can use them like potatoes. I don’t agree. If you boil them like potatoes, you soon stop enjoying them. It becomes a duty meal. The processing should enhance the character of the Jerusalem artichoke.

Jerusalem artichoke are fine raw, cut in slices most of them have a nutty taste, depending on the clone. They are also great in a soup, half Jerusalem artichoke and half potatoes, boiled with a little leek or garlic and liquidised, served with a topping of shrimps, fried mushrooms or chopped green herbs.

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