Fall Plantings: Garlic & Jerusalem Artichokes

 
This year, we've been granted permission to leave the garden in place over winter. So, our first garlic has been planted! We chose a stiff-neck  variety (Purple Glazer) and planted the largest cloves 6" apart in two 12" rows down the center of the 6' x 9' bed. The smaller cloves were planted somewhat closer together in a third row, which we plan to harvest as garlic scallions next spring.
 
In addition, the garden's year-round status allowed us to plant our first perennial vegetable: Jerusalem Artichokes (or Sunchokes). Cultivated by Native Americans, this species of sunflower is prized for its sweet, nutty tubers and decorative flowers. Jerusalem Artichokes are a good source of potassium and iron, and are also more suitable for diabetics than potatoes because their carbohydrate is in the form of inulin.

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NUTRITIONAL NOTE: Directly after harvest, the carbohydrates in the Jerusalem Artchoke's tubors are in the form of inulin, and are therefore good for dieters and diabetics. However, in storage, the inulin changes gradually to other starches, and should then be regarded more like a potato by dieters and diabetics.

For additional information on Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus),
see the following web pages:

1.  General Information --
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_artichoke

2.  Detailed History, Growth Characteristics, Uses, etc. --
    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/jerusart.html

3.  Cooking Tips --
    http://homecooking.about.com/od/howtocookvegetables/a/sunchoketips.htm