Jerusalem Artichokes – Underrated and Perennial

How many of you have heard of Jerusalem Artichokes? Not the Globe Artichokes that you can easily buy in the supermarket, but Jerusalem Artichokes?

No? No-one? Well you’re not alone. I hadn’t heard of them either until we were researching perennial vegetables.

As a vegetable they’re not very pretty. They are rhizomes but scrubbed off, popped in the oven and roasted they are incredibly tasty.

They don’t suffer from blight like potatoes and better still you can dig up all of the rhizomes each year and replant a small proportion for a HUGE harvest the following year.

So what’s the downsides I hear you say! There are 2:

  1. They are very expensive comparatively to buy first time around, but you have to balance this off against the fact that they’ll produce a crop year on year on year.
  2. They grow to at least 7ft tall so need a lot of support. They have tiny sunflower-like flowers at the top, but you’d never grow these giant plants for a flower that is so tiny.

In 2021 I bought 10 Jerusalem Artichoke rhizomes and by autumn, this was my crop. An incredible increase on what was planted.

We’re going to plant the largest and strongest of the rhizomes into a 100sqft raised bed so I should get 4 or 5 times this quantity of rhizomes next year to eat with enough to replant in another 100 sq ft raised bed for 2023.

We’re looking to add as many perennial fruit and vegetable plants to our garden as possible. Fruit is less of an issue as we now have apples, cherries, pears, raspberry, strawberry, currants, gooseberry, blueberry and many more.

Perennial vegetables are a little trickier so right now, we only have Jerusalem Artichokes and Asparagus. We tried Oca but found that they didn’t work as well for us. If anyone has more suggestions, please let us know.

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