Ask a Question forum: Questions About Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichoke)

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jozog
Nov 4, 2016 2:08 PM CST
Hello!

I found some small, started plants at a garden sale that said Sunchokes. Hearing previously that these were tasty, I bought three plants and grew them in a small plot. I didn't do the best to care for them, because I didn't really do any research and I'm not an experienced gardener by any means, but they grew very tall and flowered regardless. Where I live, it has now frosted twice, and I thought I read that it was at this time that they should be harvested. I'm not sure if I should have waited longer. I got a fair amount of little tubers with the roots, but they are very small and do not look much like Google images. If I attach a photo of my "harvest," would someone be able to identify that these are indeed sunchokes and safe to eat?

Thank you so much for any help!
Thumb of 2016-11-04/jozog/ac79e2

P.S. The image makes the plants appear a bit larger than they really are, I believe.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 4, 2016 4:44 PM CST
They look a little weak and maybe were some insects chowing down on them?
Here is a photo from the NGA database:
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 4, 2016 7:59 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, @jozog !

There are different kinds of sunchokes, some have smoother tubers, some have knobbier tubers. Yours are probably small because the plants are young... this is one of those "be careful what you wish for" things, because once the plants become well established they will likely go crazy.

Did you dig your plants up entirely? If so, you might want to replant those little tubers to grow for next year.
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Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
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Pistil
Nov 5, 2016 12:07 AM CST
They are tasty, I like them. If they flowered with a yellow daisy flower I cannot think of any reason they would not be what you planned for (They are pretty!) But I knew a farmer who planted a whole field of them. He was very sorry he had ever planted them, he could never get all the roots out and they infested his fields, so be careful! They come back bigger every year! But as a low input home crop, what could be better!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Nov 5, 2016 7:07 PM CST
My parents grew them in Arizona. They got bigger and better each year, but ended up being extremely invasive. They took over everything, so I think maybe put them in metal troughs or something that would contain them.
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jozog
Nov 6, 2016 9:39 AM CST
Thank you all for your quick and very helpful replies! Smiling
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Nov 6, 2016 11:13 AM CST
They dont look right. To small. Maybe cause you grew em in pot. If you cant grow em in ground. I would plant them in big big pot. like a 50 gallon barrow minimum. At least to get some descent size tubers.
They take along growing season also.
I dont know of bugs that attacks em!
Maybe snails or slugs if the ground cracked and left places for them to get to tubers. Plants usually reach around 15 to 20 foot tall ###!!!πŸ™Š
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Nov 6, 2016 11:15 AM CST
They are yummy, and very good for you. I loved them as a kid, but haven't had any since then. A bit of info:
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/j...
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 6, 2016 1:27 PM CST
Although it's been a long time since I grew them, I actually didn't care for the taste... it wasn't disgusting or anything, but it seemed quite odd to me. Shrug!
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Nov 6, 2016 1:37 PM CST
It is different, but my mom baked, sauteed, mashed and grilled them. She did use lots of spices and sauces with them, so maybe that helped make them yummy.
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Nov 7, 2016 9:57 AM CST
Sunchokes do not store well after being dug...
I always dug them as needed.... you can try storing them in a container of sand...

At my previous house, they did very well in a clay soil an a wet area. In my current sandhill garden, I can't hardly grow them at all.... it's too dry, and the voles eat them.

As far as prep.... I prefer them raw.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Nov 7, 2016 10:18 AM CST
@weedwacker. You either like em or hate em. I like em with mayonnaise.
Try em with diferent root veges sauted together ?
@plantmanager. I want to try some grilled. I tried fryin one time ! sticky mess.😬
I shure would like some different recipes to try. Besides just plain w/mayo.
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
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plantmanager
Nov 7, 2016 11:55 AM CST
Here are some recipes from a web search. I haven't tried them, but I bet they might be good!
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/2...
http://www.yummly.com/recipes/...
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