Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Item of the day is Jerusalem Artichokes from Yumheart Gardens. There are many sellers of Jerusalem Artichokes on Amazon but I have bought several varieties from this one and have been quite pleased with the results.
This is a plant I just think everyone should grow! They are amazingly productive and talk about a plant you can grow almost anywhere they are hardy from USDA Zone 4A all the way up to Zone 9B.
I tried fermenting them in salt brine this year and I have to say it was my favorite way to make them so far. You can see the very simple recipe in the PS below. Let me tell you how my affinity for this plant began though. All the way back in 2013 we we first moved to Nine Mile Farm a listener sent me 4 of them in a bag with a damp paper towel. He said simply cut them in to 2-4 pieces each, make sure each piece has a nodule or two, stick them in the ground, make sure they get water and stand back.
I cut them into 10 pieces and planted them into a 10’x4′ small hugel bed. That fall I harvested 4 five gallon buckets of them, what was left in the ground filled the bed with no replanting in 2014. That year though I changed the purpose of that bed, it was also the last thing the chickens ruined before being gotten rid of and fully switching to ducks.
So for a year I didn’t grow any, and simply harvested a few random survivors that survived the bed conversion and the ravages of the chickens. The fact that such survivors exist says something about this plant.
Since then I have tried a few varieties and a few sources, this one just seems like the best bang for the buck to me. They don’t seem to be a specific variety, but they are low cost and grow very large. Priced at 7.96 they are a great deal but shipping is 7.48 so call it roughly 16 bucks all in. You are going to pay higher shipping on items like this because they are coming from independent sellers on Amazon (read that small businesses) who have to charge a bit more. I find this fair enough and like to support entrepreneurs as you know.
The way to look at this though is you buy them once, if you make sure to hold over a few tubers each year for insurance, you never have to buy them again. I also want to say I recommend a very cool red variety from this seller last year and they did well for me as well. However, one listener bought them and was disappointed when she weighed them because they were about an ounce light of a full pound or something like that.
I would imagine that these are picked and packaged and ready to ship, it is quite reasonable that they could dry out a bit and be an ounce or two shy. My view is so the heck what! Again I planted 4 tubers cut into 10 pieces and got four 5-gallon buckets of harvest.
So please consider planting them as a very productive and sustainable food crop this year. And as I said there are a lot of options on Amazon, but I have purchased several items from this seller and always been happy. So consider planting Jerusalem Artichokes from Yumheart Gardens in your garden this year.
Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com
P.S. – Here is my basic recipie for fermented chokes. It is very simple, wash them well to remove all dirt and cut into pieces about as big as say a carrot stick, put them into your fermentation vessel of choice. I do mine in jars and really like both Masontops and FermentEm products for doing so.
Add about 10 Black Peppercorns and two cloves of garlic peeled as well. Cover with basic brine and weight down to keep under brine. Ferment for about 7-10 days then store in fridge to slow fermentation.
They are crisp, a bit sweet and awesome! They also don’t make you um, “gassy” if fermented. For basic brine use 1/2 cup of salt to the gallon of water. Adjust to the amount you need.
P.S.S. – The best way to store them hands down is in a ziplock bag. Put them into said bag and add a wad of damp (not wet just damp) paper towels and refrigerate and they will store for many months. The bottom drawer is the best spot. If you store them long enough they may begin to sprout, if so you can just remove the sprouts and eat them or plant them and they will grow out again for you.