Jerusalem Artichokes. If you can grow weeds you can grow these.

Jerusalem Artichokes, also known as SunchokesĀ  (or fartichokes) are not artichokes and they are not from Jerusalem. They are a root that tastes like an artichoke heart but they are in the sunflower family. The moniker “Jerusalem” has most likely evolved from the Italian word Girasol meaning flower of the sun. They are a very hearty plant growing in any soil with almost any amount of water in any level of sun. I know this because I tried it. I planted about 14 of the tubers in the part of my yard that gets the least sun. I made no amendments to the dirt that is there. I gave them no water other than some over spray from a near-by part of my lawn (keep in mind that this section of lawn is also shaded and gets little water as it is). I literally placed them in a 4 inch deep hole, packed dirt over them and let them be. For months. And months.

Buried alive in neglected dirt.

Buried alive in neglected dirt.

What I got was a long thin plant that grew like Jacks bean stalk up the side of my house. When it grew into the crux of my wall and roof I pulled them around the edge of the roof and let them continue up. They grew small (for a sunflower family plant) flowers and ended the season at about 12 feet tall. Then fall came and they turned brown. Then just before winter I cut them off about 1 foot tall and left them there through the snow and freezing weather. When I went out the other day and lifted one out of the dirt I was able to harvest what you see in the picture below. They are edible and quite tasty and recipes abound ranging from eating them raw to delicately prepared dishes that are fit for royalty. They are so easy to grow that there is no excuse not to if your typical excuse is time or skill. Even the most herbacidal maniac with a square foot of earth can grow one.


100_1037 100_1039