W shares pictures and some data on his Jerusalem artichoke garden in Pennsylvania:
“Just wanted to share my 60’ row of sunchokes.
This is an old riding ring we built and it is modified bank run material topped with just sand. Over time weeds and grasses grew, We did a chicken tractor for 2 years.
About 2 years ago I started the 2 rows with horse manure and hay and then started adding daikon radish and this year potatoes , the sunchokes and a late planting of sunflowers which are not eve in the manure bed, they are just in the wood chips.
I’m in the process of trying some more daikon and winter squash where I took the taters out.
I have another pile of manure to move, hope I can get 2 more rows built.”
I’ve always been fond of Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes, even though I don’t find them particularly digestible. They have very good uses as a survival crop to feed animals, even if we don’t eat them. The plants also make a good amount of biomass for the compost pile, and grow and produce under poor conditions. I once grew them in the rocky subsoil of a construction site in part shade and still got a yield.
We didn’t find them to do well in Florida, but here in Alabama I have some nice-looking plants in one of the Grocery Row Gardens. If they do well, I should make a bed like W made. It’s lovely and when they burst into bloom in fall the effect is magical. Gorgeous flowers and a useful crop.