[Market-farming] Jerusalem artichokes aka sun chokes

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Wed Mar 30 08:37:49 EDT 2011


I an no expert on sun chokes.  My experience is that the wild varieties are almost too small and labor intensive to sell.  I still eat them from time to time.  I have found that the get larger if you cultivate and decrease population but they, on average, remain small.  I do not know what nutrients they like the best.  In theory if they are growing in the location they are then the soil should be fine.  I have never tried any of the varieties that are sold by companies...not too sure if they are simply wild being resold or a truly domesticated variety.

We do a lot of wild forage for restaurants so I have a healthy respect for products from the wild.  Right now we are doing dandelion and chickweed selling about a half dozen pounds of each per week till they cross over to pure bitterness.  We also harvest dandelion blooms and day-lilies.  As the season moves on we also do nettle, sumac, spiceberries (which are labor intensive but you get a premium for) and that wonderful native fruit...pawpaws.

II have yet to economically harvest enough sun chokes to make it worth my time, in part because I cannot charge a decent price for the small amount of food you get.  You could argue that the demand simply is not there.

We are building a food forage forest area around our farm to table dining area where we've gone through and removed all the invasive species and will be transplanting a variety of species to provide meals for visitors.  That is more a gimmick than anything else.  :)

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
http://www.carriagehousefarmllc.com
rstewart at zoomtown.com

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