Jerusalem artichoke - a magic earth pear
Jerusalem artichoke appeared in Europe in the early 17th century and quickly took its place on the table. In Russia, with the advent of potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke surrendered its position. Today, thanks to new productive varieties of Jerusalem artichoke, advertising in the media, the culture is returning to the family of food products. In 2000, at the International Conference on Crop Production, Jerusalem artichoke was named the planetary culture of the 21st century for its medicinal properties, productivity and unpretentiousness in cultivation.
In this material, we invite you to get acquainted with this interesting culture: learn about its beneficial properties, get information about the cultivation and care of Jerusalem artichoke, about its use in food, and also in decor as late-flowering decorative-flowering plants.
Jerusalem artichoke, or Tuberous sunflower (Helianthus tuberosus) Is a species of perennial herbaceous tuberous plants of the genus Sunflower of the Astrovian family (Asteraceae).
Jerusalem artichoke is known under many synonyms:
- earthen pear - for its sweetish taste;
- Volga turnip - for a slightly elongated root crop, reminiscent of a cabbage stump;
- bulba, boulevard, drumara - for similarity with potato root crops;
- Jerusalem artichoke - received the name due to a special cooking method in which Jerusalem artichoke acquired the taste of an artichoke.
Useful properties and composition of Jerusalem artichoke tubers
Earthen pear with the taste of cabbage stalk, with its external unattractiveness, is a very necessary and useful garden plant. Irregularly tuberous Jerusalem artichoke tubers contain a large list of substances and compounds necessary for the body, including inulin, a substance that is very important for patients with diabetes mellitus. The amino acids contained in Jerusalem artichoke tubers have a positive effect on the human body: arginine, valine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, tryptophan, phenylalamine, which are necessary for adults and children:
- they stimulate the synthesis of growth hormone,
- rejuvenate the body
- are part of hemoglobin,
- prevent hearing loss,
- regulate sugar levels,
- increase protein synthesis
- split fats convert to energy,
- lower blood cholesterol,
- Enforphins, "hormones of happiness," are produced.
The list of beneficial properties of amino acids is supplemented by vitamins of the B group (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7), C, E. Trace elements (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, silicon, zinc, iron and others) in combination With vitamins, amino acids, other substances, their action on metabolic processes is very useful, because:
- significantly reduce the risk of osteoporosis in the elderly and rickets in children,
- improve the function of blood formation,
- genital gland activity,
- regulate the balance of fluid in the body.
Eating Jerusalem artichoke strengthens the immune system, reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack, reduces salt deposits in the joints.
Jerusalem artichoke in the diet helps to increase the number of bifidobacteria in the large intestine involved in the processes of suppressing the development of pathogenic microflora, including staphylococci, shigella, enterococci, salmonella.
Only a small list of useful substances and their effects on the body indicate the enormous value of this garden plant. In addition to the healing effect, Jerusalem artichoke is used as an ornamental plant in landscaping a country or house plot. Jerusalem artichoke is a good honey plant, feed feed for livestock.
Description of Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke in the external structure of the ground part is similar to sunflower. It is called (like sunflower) a sun flower for its ability to turn the inflorescence after the sun.
The underground part of the plant consists of a stem root and underground shoots - stolons located at a depth of 15-20 cm. Pear-like tubers are formed at the ends of Jerusalem artichoke stolons. Their appearance can also be spindle-shaped, oval, rounded, almost always - tuberous.
The ground stem of Jerusalem artichoke is annual, straight, reaches a height of up to 2 - 4 m, round-cylindrical, rough due to numerous short hard hairs, dark green, very dense. In a culture in the fall, the stalk of Jerusalem artichoke is cut into a stump 7-10 cm high.
Jerusalem artichoke leaves are large, rough, petiolate. They densely cover the stem. The leaf blade is dark green, heart-shaped or ovoid. Large, developed leaves are slightly dangling.
Jerusalem artichoke inflorescence - a basket. The flowers are yellow or orange-yellow. Marginal flowers reed same-sex, sterile. In the center of the inflorescence - tubular bisexual, self-pollinated or cross-pollinated. An earthen pear blooms in September and blooms until November, depending on weather conditions and the growing region.
Jerusalem artichoke fruit is an achene, small, grayish-brown in color. Inflorescences, to obtain larger tubers, are often cut. When grown for decorative purposes, elegant bushes blooming until late autumn are obtained.
Biological features of Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke - a culture for the garden without worries:
- grows on any soil except salt marshes and highly acidified,
- no maintenance required
- not sick and not damaged by pests; very rarely and slightly damaged only by white rot in the lower part of the stems,
- does not accumulate nitrates and nitrites in tubers and in the green earth mass,
- Jerusalem artichoke - a short-day plant; in the southern regions (the day exceeds 12 hours), flowering occurs late, the seeds do not ripen.
Jerusalem artichoke has edible flowers, young leaves and root crops. Moreover, the crop of root crops perfectly preserved in the soil. It can be partially removed in the fall and in the second half in the spring, when a deficiency of vitamins is especially noticeable.
Jerusalem artichoke still has one drawback - it is poorly stored. Unlike potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke tubers do not have a cork layer that protects the product from spoilage. This property was the reason for the replacement of Jerusalem artichoke with potatoes.
Varieties of Jerusalem artichoke
Given the unpretentiousness of Jerusalem artichoke, plant material can be asked from neighbors or to buy several tubers in a store and other retail outlets.
For lovers of Jerusalem artichoke and especially for patients with diabetes, we offer varieties bred by breeders that form aligned large root crops with their compact location in the soil, with reduced or increased bushiness, winter hardiness for the northern regions of Russia and other useful qualities.
Early Jerusalem artichoke varieties
Early ripening Jerusalem artichoke varieties were developed by maturity:
- Precocious (precocious);
- Kiev white;
- North Caucasian;
- Precocious Kharkov;
- Patat and others.
Early varieties are ready for harvest by the third decade of September. Early ripening Jerusalem artichoke varieties (Red, Patat, Skorospelka, White, Spindle-shaped) can also be grown in regions with more severe winters. But in any case, tubers of Jerusalem artichoke are not left for wintering in the soil. They are transferred to cold cellars, where they are stored in a burlap under a layer of sand, used as food for food.
You can store Jerusalem artichoke tubers directly in the pits on the site. By these methods, the storage duration will be extended to 2.0-2.5 months. Root crops are stored in the refrigerator for about a month.
Later varieties of Jerusalem artichoke
Of the late varieties of Jerusalem artichoke, we recommend:
- Hybrid 320;
The late Jerusalem artichoke varieties form a full-fledged crop by November; therefore, they are not widespread in the northern and cold regions.
Hybrid varieties of Jerusalem artichoke - sunflower
Recently, the market offers hybrids obtained by crossing Jerusalem artichoke with sunflower. The culture is called sunflower. They are somewhat different from Jerusalem artichoke in the external habit and structure of the bushes (lower-growing, thin-stemmed, with a large number of inflorescences up to 1 cm in diameter, only yellow flowers). In topis sunflower tubers are absolutely smooth, and in Jerusalem artichoke small (like hairs) roots scattered on the surface of the tuber are observed.
For cultivation, the following varieties of these hybrids are recommended:
- News VIR.
It should be noted that the sunflowers retained their healing and dietary properties, and they enhanced the beneficial properties of sunflower: they effectively remove salts from the joints if you take medicinal baths from decoctions and infusions of ground fresh or dried mass.
Growing Jerusalem artichoke
Planting and caring for Jerusalem artichoke repeat the potato farming technique. Under Jerusalem artichoke, they take a free corner on a summer cottage or house adjoining site, away from other cultures. This is due to its rapid reproduction and the seizure of new areas, especially in case of violation of agricultural practices of harvesting. Jerusalem artichoke prefers bright places, but it successfully grows and develops in the shade and even under a nut, which usually inhibits any crops growing in its area.
Soil preparation and fertilizer
Jerusalem artichoke grows on any soil, excluding salt marshes, alkaline and highly acidic, the optimum pH is 5.5-6.0 units.
The soil for Jerusalem artichoke can be prepared in the fall or spring. Under digging, on very depleted soils, a ripened humus or compost is introduced to produce larger tubers. On medium and highly fertile soils, fertilizers can be omitted or limited to nitroammophos, azophos at the rate of 40-60 g / sq. m square.
Planting Jerusalem artichoke
For planting choose healthy Jerusalem artichoke tubers weighing 50-60 g. Ordinary rowing with different distances in a row and in aisles: 50x50, 60x40, 70x35 and others. Tubers are planted in a 7-12 cm layer of soil, preferably sideways.
Watering Jerusalem artichoke
In order not to pay too much attention to watering, planting is best done:
- in arid areas, into furrows;
- in areas with high humidity - on the ridges.
Watering Jerusalem artichoke is not contraindicated, but a special watering system is not needed. Roots that deeply penetrate the soil in sufficient quantities provide the plant with water and nutrients. Increased amounts of moisture are needed during the period of tuber formation. At this time, 1-2 watering is needed. Watering is still carried out during a period of prolonged drought, combining them with watering of other crops.
Jerusalem artichoke care
Tubers germinate at soil temperature + 4 ... + 8 ° С. The aboveground mass is not damaged during short-term drops in air temperature to minus 6 ° С. Jerusalem artichoke easily tolerates high air temperatures.
Before and after emergence of Jerusalem artichoke, the soil is kept weeding in a state clean of weeds. During the season, 2-3 loosening is carried out mainly in the first half of the warm season.
With excessive moisture, plants spud, deepening the furrows in the aisles. Top dressing for Jerusalem artichoke is not required. If you want to get a higher crop of tubers, hay or silage in the spring, nitroammophoska, kemir, a mixture of complete fertilizer is introduced.
With long-term cultivation of Jerusalem artichoke in one place, overgrown bushes are dug up and remove excess shoots (align rows). It is possible to carry out rarefaction in order to make room for young shoots. After this procedure, plants should be fed.
With age, crop productivity decreases, Jerusalem artichoke tubers are smaller. In this case (if desired) should work hard. At a time when old tubers die off, and new ones are just beginning to form, you need to cut off the ground mass, dig the soil with a sample of tubers onto a bayonet shovel. During the remaining time before the fall / spring planting, the site is constantly loosened to a depth of 7-10 cm.
Harvesting Jerusalem artichoke
The green mass of Jerusalem artichoke is removed before the onset of cold weather, leaving stumps 5-8 cm high. Leaves and stems separately. Stalks are crushed before drying. Dried in the shade and stored in bags (not film). In winter, used for baths. If the green mass is intended to feed livestock, hay is harvested.
Digging up plants during the summer-autumn period, Jerusalem artichoke tubers are used to prepare salads, first and second courses, medicinal juices.
In the fall, they dig up part of the crop, leaving tubers for spring restoration of plantings. Jerusalem artichoke tubers are stored in cold cellars or earthen pits, covered with burlap, respectively, under sand or ground. The temperature in the cellar is maintained at the level of 0 - + 2 ° С.
You can divide Jerusalem artichoke into 2 parts. Harvest part of the crop in autumn and use for food. Remove the second part in the spring, adding to your menu with fresh vitamins and other healthy substances. Jerusalem artichoke tubers, dug in the spring, are sweeter and tastier.
If Jerusalem artichoke grows on your site, and even more so is used as a food and medicinal crop, write about it in the comments. Share the secrets of cooking salads and other dishes, use in landscape culture, medicinal decoctions, teas, medicinal baths.