Harvesting and use
Jerusalem artichokes are usually harvested five to six months from planting.
Do not dig the crop until the tops die as yields increase up to this stage and immature tubers do not keep well. Slash the tops to facilitate harvesting. Handle the tubers with care as the skin is thin and easily bruised.
Tubers larger than 80g are suitable for marketing. They should be marketed fresh which usually requires progressive digging over a period of weeks to keep the market adequately supplied. Wash them gently to remove excess soil before packing without free moisture in ventilated plastic bags, net bags or plastic crates.
If necessary, mature tubers can be stored in sawdust, dry sand or chaff. They may also be stored for three months at 0°C in a coolstore with high relative humidity. Dehydration can occur in tubers exposed directly to air and rots can develop if tubers are damaged in the digging and washing process and kept wet.
Yields can be up to 80t/ha.
Jerusalem artichokes can be grown as a perennial crop and may be kept in the same position for up to five years. Commercial crops are usually removed in autumn and replanted in a different area in spring.
Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of fibre, iron and vitamin B, and a good food for diabetics.
Tubers are washed and scrubbed or peeled then boiled until cooked. They may also be baked after boiling for a few minutes and also make a pleasant and interesting soup. Combining them with other vegetables such as onions and tomatoes can also provide an interesting dish.
The original content of this page was written by Harry Gratte and John Burt.