The Jerusalem artichokes are here!

Well, having a great start to my weekend. When I opened the front door this evening, there was a note to say I had a parcel waiting nextdoor. I hadn’t expected the Jerusalem artichokes to arrive so soon – the information from the supplier had been that they would arrive at the end of March – so I was intrigued when I knocked on the door.

My neighbour had been a little alarmed by the label on the front which states ‘Live plants – unpack immediately’. She wondered therefore if she should open the package and give them a water. But they did actually come in a damp inner bag and look very fresh.


As the nights are drawing out now, I decided there and then to get my gardening shoes on. I had made the preparations for the artichokes last autumn, putting manure down on a space vacated by the strawberries. So, all I needed to do was dig a hole and put a couple of tubers in it.

Except that the ground had a fair amount of bramble bush roots in it. I therefore am not sure I have placed the tubers deep enough in the ground – according to the RHS website, the best depth is between 6 and 8 inches – but as with all things gardening I will just had to wait and see now.

Anyway, as if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, I think I have found a source of bricks and paving through freecycle. This should help me keep the artichokes from spreading all over the garden and allotment, as well as potentially providing the material for other gardening projects. Oh, the opportunities in my mind are endless 😉

© Helen Butt, March 2014


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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13 Responses to The Jerusalem artichokes are here!

  1. lovely post Helen freecylce is good for allsorts of things

  2. I don’t know anything about growing artichokes. I will enjoy learning from following your progress. I don’t even know how to cook them. I usually buy them from the deli counter they are cooked and marinated in a vinegar oil dressing. They are expensive but delicious. they are a rare luxory for me. I only find them here a couple of times a year. I am interested to see how you cook them later.

    • Usually I make them into soup which is very easy. I pop them in the slow cooker (I don’t peel them as they are too fiddly and the skins are perfectly edible) and cook until they are soft. Then I add milk and using a hand blender whisk them up until they are a soup consistency. And that’s it – unless you want to add seasoning!

      Hopefully you can find some that a fresh rather than prepared so you can try them out this way.

      And thanks for the compliment about learning from me 🙂

      • That soups sounds delicious and creamy. I especially like that it sounds easy to make as well. I would love to try it. I guess I will have to looke out for them at the store. Thanks for the tip!

  3. andy1076 says:

    Interesting name for the artichokes, I’ll be looking it up and cheers to your next plan

  4. Danielle says:

    Oh my goodness, so exciting to see these! We know them mainly as sunchokes here in the U.S. and few people even know them here. My mom began growing them in her yard last year when her doctor told her she was “borderline” diabetic. She is very healthy and wanted to begin working on this without medication. Her friends and research (she is from Taiwan) told her to eat sunchokes and since they are awfully expensive at the market, she began growing them. So interesting that they’re nothing like a regular artichoke! They are incredibly healthful and have helped my mom considerably! She eats them simply by cleaning them well (scrubbing) and adding to a homemade chicken broth/boiling them. Rooting (haha) for your Jerusalem artichokes to thrive!

    • I hope your mum manages to maintain a healthy blood sugar level without the need for medication! I learned yesterday – when I was looking up how to plant the artichokes – that their carbohydrate made them an excellent food for diabetics.

      We don’t see many here. I can get them from my local organic farm but apart from that I hadn’t eaten them since my dad grew them when I was a child.

      They were a lot more common in the past… I know they can be a bit antisocial but if they are easy to grow (few pests and diseases, don’t need watering too much) and have beautiful flowers, it seems a shame not to grow them.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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