Argh – my Jerusalem artichokes have been trying to escape.

It’s not that I haven’t given them a loving home with the very best soil I could provide.  I gave them everything and yet they have lashed out like insolent teenagers.  Well the best way I know how to sort them out is to eat them!

The impertinence!  How dear they try and bust out of MY garden.  Don't they know how good they have it here!
The impertinence! How dear they try and bust out of MY garden. Don’t they know how good they have it here!

Although they do have an odd taste.  I did a bit of research to find out what to do with them and discovered they have the highest sugar content of all the veggies, however it is in the form of fructose which is tied up in a more complex sugar that can only be broken down in our lower reaches and has a bit of a gaseous bi-product hence the nickname fartichokes.  Consider this your:  “Fact of the day.”

Quite an impressive haul
Quite an impressive haul

There were mostly recipes for soups and roasting them and while this sounds lovely – I have a bit of a problem.  We are currently renovating and so we don’t have a kitchen as such.  My sink is my laundry tub, my spare bedroom is my pantry, and my cook top is my BBQ on the deck.  This was ok in the beginning.  It was like camping.  Oh what fun we had. But now, since daylight savings and the clocks going back, it is darker earlier.  And don’t forget I broke the drought last week.  BBQing in the dark and the rain is not pleasant!  But when it is all done I will be so grateful.

Just how dead is dying?
Just how dead is dying?

As a result of repairing the bed, I had to dig up a surprising amount of tubers, that had grown so big they were pushing against the side of the bed and had pried apart the nails.  They reckon that the best time to harvest them is in the autumn when the plants die back – but how far back do they have to die?  I thought I had at least another month to go.  Normally it is hard to tell as most of the stalks would have long since blown down in summer storms. But my new greenhouse seems to have sheltered them and I have a fine thicket to determine the correct degree of deadness.

A basketful of knobbly nuggets
A basketful of knobbly nuggets

With a basket full of knobbly nuggets and a severe lack of kitchen – I thought about alternative possibilities and came up with pickling them.  Perfect to do in my conditions.  I sliced and soaked them overnight in a brine solution and then sterilised the jars and lids by boiling them for ages on the BBQ and then boiled up a vinegar and spice solution – with loads of chillies (because I also have loads of chillies) and packed it all into jars and then to be sure of a good seal, I boiled the whole lot again and all of the jars went pop – except one.  It turned out that a sneaky grain of mustard seed had snuck under the rim.  However all was not lost – I treated it like a fridge pickle and have been snacking on it already.  I should have waited, but I couldn’t.  Oh so yummo!  Sweet, sour, crunchy and everything a good pickle should have.  I can’t wait to serve them on a platter with a creamy brie and a crisp cracker in my new kitchen – well if there are any left!

So very good....  yummo!
So very good…. yummo!

Come again soon – It is a long weekend coming up – surely I’ll be able to sneak a little bit of time in the garden between the hot cross buns and the chocolate!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

16 thoughts on “Argh – my Jerusalem artichokes have been trying to escape.

  1. Oh my goodness, I remember the remodeling days quite well. Like you, we started in the warm months, and it was easy to wash dishes on the back porch. Then the rains came. Unlike you, I was not maintaining a garden as well, so my hat is off to you. How much longer till the remodel is done?

    I’m glad the teenagers are back under control.

    1. Hi Alys We probably have another couple of weeks yet as it is quite a major reno. But I am so looking forward to my new kitchen!
      The garden is more neglected than I would like it to be at the moment as I have been working away on the next stage of my book – which looks awesome! Hopefully I will find time to do some proactive gardening rather than the reactive stuff I’m doing at the moment.
      Have an awesome Easter break.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. I’m excited for you. It’s wonderful to have a do-over. I hope you gained lots of efficiencies from the changes.

        I can’t wait to see your book. Fun days ahead.

    1. Thanks Julie. I can’t wait for the kitchen to be finished. I have requested dedicated storage for my jams and preserves. Normally they are all over the place – on bookshelves, in the laundry and in the craft room. My new kitchen will be awesome!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. Interesting way to deal with artichokes – will have to give it a go later in the year. When the leaves on ours start to turn yellow, we cut them back leaving about 15cm above ground so we know where they are and then just dig them up as and when. Must admit I always run out of ideas before we get around to digging them all.

    1. Hi Anne. I read somewhere that they can be quite invasive so I gave them their own bed – but I don’t think they believe it is big enough! We may have to seriously cull their numbers this year!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. Fartchokes! Ha! Yes, sometimes I act like a 13 yo boy… I have a bunch of these on the side of my house. I knew we could eat them, but haven’t gotten around to harvesting. Next winter I will. And I’ll remember to eat these in private. .. ha!

    1. Hi There. I never really knew what to do with them either, so this year I am determined to make them actually earn their keep in my garden and find a multitude of ways to eat them!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. HI Keith. They are surprizingly delicious!… Quite moreish too – you cant just steal one from the jar – it has to be a few! At this rate I’ll have to make a new batch!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  4. Hi, we grow them for stock food, they look great and when they start to die down we cut them at the ground and feed the tops to the cows and the tubers to the pigs. We only keep a few for us to eat roasted but i will now try them pickled, had never thought of doing that way, what a great idea!

    1. Hi Philippa Maybe if we get a few too many and are at the point of not being able to give them away – the goats may get a little treat and judging by how many I got from just digging around to get the garden bed fixed – I’m guessing there are alot in there!
      Have a lovely Easter.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  5. Another thing to envy. I tried planting Jerusalem artichokes but the wallabies ate them. I managed to grow some inside a large piece of weldmesh but would love to let them run amok on some corner of Serendipity Farm but I don’t think they would survive for long which is saying something because they are virtually weeds. I love the taste of them and they make a lovely soup (for next years crop 😉 )

    1. Hi Fran – gosh I don’t know how I missed this comment. Maybe I could bring some over with me when I jump the ditch this weekend. But I’m not sure how your border control will take it. I am already worrying about the “have you been on a farm” question and have bought new shoes – that I haven’t worn yet- to ease the possibility of a problem! I would hate to infest your country with one of Peaches little parcels stuck to the bottom of my shoe!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. 😉 just shove all of those dirty shoes in your suitcase and wear those lovely (stiff) new pristine shoes with impunity. Whatever you do DON’T BRING A BANANA! 😉

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