by Connie Oswald Stofko
I have sunchokes that I will share for free, but there’s one catch. You have to pick them up or get someone you know to pick them up. I just don’t want to have to mail them.
I’m in the Eggertsville area of Amherst. If you don’t get out this way, you probably have a neighbor or cousin or coworker who does.
If you’d like some sunchokes, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can arrange for a time for you to pick them up.
Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes, are very cool plants that can grow 10 feet tall in one season, then get small yellow flowers. Not only that, you can eat the root! Read about sunchokes here and see how cool they can look.
Yes, you can plant sunchokes now. Plant them before the ground freezes.
Better yet, plant them in a pot outside because this native plant spreads easily. Very easily. Even if you aim to harvest all the roots, you’ll miss some and have sunchokes popping up where you didn’t want them.
I recommend growing them in containers. I’ve done this before and had good luck.
This year my plants were short, maybe three feet tall, and they didn’t flower. However, my harvest was good. I’ve harvested from only one of my two pots and have probably enough sunchokes for six servings, with enough to plant some for next year, too. (I still have another pot to harvest, so I have plenty to share.)
I think the reason the plants stayed smallish and I didn’t get flowers this year was because I tried to squeeze too many into a pot. This year I am planting only 12 tubers (roots) in a 15-inch pot.
The other reason I think the plants were stunted was because I disturbed them early in the year by digging some out of one container and transplanting them into the second. Even so, I had a good harvest. These plants are easy to grow!
If you grew sunchokes in previous years, please leave a comment and let us know how they worked out for you. And if you have a favorite way to prepare them, please let us know that, too.