Posts Tagged ‘artichoke’

April Artichokes

Fellow food forager, Peter Banks (of ‘Cider with Peter‘ fame) is never happier than when he’s up to his knees in mud in his vegetable patch. Here he shares his thoughts on April vegetables:

Digging for artichokes

The family digging for artichokes in the vegetable patch

As TS Elliot wrote in The Wasteland, “April is the cruellest month”, – this certainly rings true in the garden.  Whilst the trees are coming into bud and the spring bulbs are coming into bloom, paradoxically the garden is almost fallow.  This year’s vegetables are still tiny seedlings, but last year’s winter greens (kale etc) and winter roots are already finished.

One of the rare exceptions however is the marvellous Jerusalem artichoke – its gnarled appearance belies a fantastic nutty flavour.  These vegetables can still be pulled until the end of April. 

Digging for Artichokes

Digging for Artichokes

The other advantage of these nutty veg, is their ease of propagation.  Simply break off a 2” square piece of the root and plant it approx 4” deep in the ground.  However make sure that you plant them on the eastern or northern most part of your garden as at 8 foot tall, they cast a substantial amount of shade across the garden.

Plant them in a prepared trench (I put paper shreddings at the bottom to hold moisture) and watch out for their spreading tendancy.  In the meantime, enjoy this hearty Jerusalem Artichoke and Smoky Bacon Soup.


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During a recent visit to the family up in the Settle region we decided to go for a walk and take the nieces and nephews and the dog.

We had a hearty bowl of Jerusalem artichoke soup to come back to bubbling away in the bottom of the Aga. Wonderful stuff, especially when served up with a nice crusty baguette! The allotment gave us these wonderful tubers and I have to say it is one of my personal favourites. Served with some crispy bacon bits, you cannot beat it …

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