Mary's Veggie Garden

March 1, 2010

Eating from the Garden in Winter: Jerusalem Artichokes

Filed under: Gardening,Jerusalem Artichokes,Root Cellar,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 9:06 am
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Jerusalem Artichokes,  Helianthus tuberosus, have a reputation of being difficult to store.  The preferred method is to leave the roots in the garden and dig as needed.  That was not an option for me, because my J-chokes were harvested in November during maintenance of a public garden.

Jerusalem Artichokes in storage 2/11/2010

I washed the J-chokes, air-dried them, piled them into a 5 gallon plastic bucket, and placed the cover loosely on top. The bucket was stored in the ‘black hole’, an enclosed area under our concrete patio. By late Dec., the outside overnight temperature was dropping into the teens so I moved the bucket into the coldest part of the basement to avoid freezing but moved it back a few weeks later. Occasionally, I shake off the excess moisture condensed on the inside of the lid.

The J-chokes are storing great! The roots are still crisp and sweet, with no mold, despite the high humidity in the bucket.

A friend stored her harvest in a brown paper bag in her garage and reported her J-chokes are now very shriveled. We’ve decided that low humidity is the problem.

3/10/2010 Today I got near the bottom of the bucket and discovered that although high humidity is good, standing water is bad for J-chokes.  A couple in the bottom had rotted, and a layer 3″ deep were moldy.  The J-chokes on top are still good though.  Maybe I should have moved them to a clean, dry bucket in January and inspected the tubers in the process.  Next year.

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