Jerusalem Artichokes

A friend gave me a small handful of Jerusalem Artichokes last spring. Stuck them in the ground and since I could not get out and do anything last year I had 4 large trees. I now have 3 good-sized buckets full of the roots. They taste pretty good. Now to figure out what to do with them. According to the Web they could replace Ex-Lax for some people.
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On 08/02/15 17:29, The Cook wrote:

I hear that the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab investigated them as a propulsion system in space. It didn't work too well. The conclusion of the report was flatulence will get you nowhere.
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First of all, now you have them for life...dig up all the roots you can fine; what you missed will make a fine crop the next year. Other than the usual boil and/or roast with herbs, they're good pickled. And yes, the indigestible carbs could eliminate the need for fracking!
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Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic
Zone 5/4 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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On Sun, 08 Feb 2015 13:02:57 -0500, Gary Woods

I had put them on one of my boxes so I should be able to keep up with them. As DH said, we can pull up the plants as they appear this spring. I will make sure that I keep them in the box.
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On 2/8/2015 11:29 AM, The Cook wrote:

Sunchokes. I've had some for years and in zone 9b at the time they became a menace to the world, you have to get every little piece of root out and burned or tossed to get rid of the things.
They are pretty tasty peeled and lightly fried and I have made pickled chokes several times that are also tasty. Fried they give you mucho gas and gastric distress, pickled, not so much. They are healthy though. The Plains Indians used them and cultivated patches for many centuries. Have not found a critter that will eat them or even attack them.
Finally moved back to Texas to get away from the damned things, they will grow on concrete too.
They last a long time without care so are useful that way and the blooms are like sunflowers so sort of pretty. Lots of luck!
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On 9/02/2015 4:29 AM, The Cook wrote:

I know someone who grows then simply to shade a western facing window so that her house doesn't heat up in the late afternoon. She doesn't eat them at all.
When I saw how lovely they looked at full height, I thought her idea of using them for shade rather than for culinary purposes was a really good one.
I used to grow them many years ago but haven't had any for decades. I'd have asked the shade grower to give me one or two of hers but she's one of those miserable gardeners who always wants things but never gives things. She's a rarity in having that sort of attitude amongst the gardening fraternity in my experience.
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Fran Farmer wrote: ...

how tall do they get?

do the stalks make good sturdy stakes? :)

some people have a hard time giving up any of their children...
songbird
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On 2/8/2015 9:47 PM, songbird wrote:

and tossed them in the compost heap.

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George Shirley wrote: ...

right now i'm not planting too much that won't get eaten, by the description it sounds like Ma wouldn't touch them with a ten foot stalk. so no worries for now on that count. :)
songbird
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On 9/02/2015 2:47 PM, songbird wrote:

These must have been at least 8 ft tall given the height of the windows.

I don't know. They were lush and green and I didn't touch them or go near them so I can't say. They were certainly sturdy enough to hold the head up and look gorgeous and once dry they may be solid enough to be stakeish. I know the verbascums I have in my garden could be used as stakes in a tripod conformation to climb beans on but certainly not to drive into the ground type stakes.

Nah. She's just a bitch. She was given a whole lot of fibre and told to pass it on to the member of a group of spinners to which I belong and she kept the lot. The person who asked her to pass it on was livid.
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Fran Farmer wrote:

ah well, i'm sure she won't be given a second chance on that score. sad.
songbird
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On 11/02/2015 1:41 AM, songbird wrote:

She's been given a number of chances and sadly her unmarried daughter (who lives with here) is becoming just like she is. But it is sad. They are turning into hoarders and becoming isolated from the community.
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songbird wrote:

When I had them they reached 2.5m (8ft) easily. Quite pretty, nice flowers. I lost patience with them as the ones I had had wrinkly skins on the roots (tubers? whatever) and held on to the dirt. It was quite an effort to clean and peel them and you didn't get much food for your trouble, perhaps they are better in lighter soil.

The stalks are like softish wood, they take a while to rot down in compost so they might make a stake for a year or two. I wouldn't describe them as sturdy.
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David

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David Hare-Scott wrote:

sounds similar to the sunflower stalks, but perhaps straighter. the sunflowers have such heavy heads that the stalks end up bent over and not very tall.
all they have to do is hold up for a year or two. but likely i'll not put them in here. i don't need another invasive...
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On 11/02/2015 1:40 AM, songbird wrote:

But at least they are pretty in their invasiveness, unlike ivy.
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I don't recall any of the gastrointestinal effects people are complaining about - However, we ALWAYS waited until after they had frozen in the ground to harvest them, or they tasted awful/soapy. Peeled and eaten raw is the way I recall as being best.
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On 2/9/2015 11:44 AM, Ecnerwal wrote:

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