Once again, it’s been awhile since I blogged. I’ll be honest, between life, kids, my bad attitude towards social media, compounded by the fact I hate to type, I just don’t do it as much as I should.
Since that is out of the way, I’ve been meaning to start a series of posts about several topics I was going to present on this past summer. Why I didn’t get the chance to present them is a topic for another day.
Today I'll start with unusual edible perennials and how to use them to promote healthy soil in your garden.
I've grown all the plants I talk about except for one, stinging nettle. However, as soon as I get my hands on some I’m planting it.
Let’s start with Jerusalem Artichoke or Sun Choke.
Definitely plan ahead when deciding on a location to plant it. They are prolific and can become invasive unless managed properly by giving them adequate space and harvesting them completely unless you want them to spread. Take into consideration their height. Mine have grown to be about 4ft. Think about that when planning around shorter plants so they don’t shade them out.
The plants are a good source of biomass to add organic matter, sometimes called green manure. Organic matter is the storage bank important for nutrient management.
Because they are a tuber they may help mitigate some compaction issues. I’m not advocating growing them to totally remediate the issue, however, using a plants growth habits can help reduce adding amendments depending on what scale you are growing on.
Sun Chokes are rich in minerals like phosphorus and potassium. If your manure heavily phosphorus is your limiting factor. That puts you in a situation where you need to add more nitrogen and potassium. Why not look to plants to help fill in some fertility gaps.
Sun Chokes can also be considered as part of a cover crop rotation, taking advantage of the remediation and nutrient advantages, the plant has. Always keeping in mind, the management limitations like pervasiveness.
Last but not least, I grow mine because I like to eat them raw. I've never had them cooked, although I've heard you can.
Let me know if you grow Sun Chokes and how you use them. If you have any recipes, maybe I'll try them cooked...instead of raw.