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Growing And Using Jerusalem Artichoke
Growing And Using Jerusalem Artichoke

Video: Growing And Using Jerusalem Artichoke

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Video: 5 Tips How to Grow a Ton of Jerusalem Artichoke/Sunchoke 2023, February
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Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke

Environmental circumstances, the situation in the economy and agriculture, the state of health of the population - all this makes us all return to the study of the experience of growing Jerusalem artichoke.

Our family began to grow Jerusalem artichoke from the moment my nephew returned home after participating in the liquidation of the Chernobyl accident. He returned with the Order of Lenin on his chest and a full dose of radiation exposure. It was then that we remembered the experience of the Japanese, who, after the nuclear explosions in 1945, used three important components to restore the blood formula - seafood, quail egg and … Jerusalem artichoke.

Since then, Japanese quails have been living in our house, and Jerusalem artichoke has been growing in the garden. For more than twenty years, our family has been growing, processing and using Jerusalem artichoke.

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Economic value of Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke is one of the highest-yielding crops that grows on almost any soil except salt marshes. Jerusalem artichoke has no equal in the content of nutrients and medicinal substances in the world. For example, in central Russia, the height of Jerusalem artichoke reaches three meters in height, the yield on the first cultivated area in the Moscow region reached 70 tons of green mass and 27 tons of tubers.

From Jerusalem artichoke tubers industrially extracted twice as much fructose as sugar from sugar beets or sugar cane. In Brazil and Germany, a fairly high quality alcohol is obtained by distillation, which serves as an additive to gasoline to reduce tetraethyl lead emissions. Jerusalem artichoke stems are used in the pulp and paper industry in the manufacture of paper and cardboard. Briquettes from dried Jerusalem artichoke stalks are used as fuel.

Jerusalem artichoke is the most valuable forage crop. In Russia, in the 30s and 50s, hectares of land were sown in hunting farms and reserves to feed forest dwellers - marals, wild boars, and hares. Now in Western European countries fields sown with Jerusalem artichoke are used for grazing and fattening pigs.

For growing in garden plots, it is important that with minimal care, Jerusalem artichoke gives a large harvest, it is not afraid of frost, almost does not suffer from drought and without renewal of plantings it can grow in one place for up to 10-12 years.

Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke

In our climate, Jerusalem artichoke roots ripen by mid-October, when the gardens are mostly harvested. And if, nevertheless, you did not dig Jerusalem artichoke in the fall, then it calmly winters in the ground. You can dig it up in early spring, and lay in storage as much as you need for constant use during the winter.

In pre-revolutionary Russia, Jerusalem artichoke was widespread to a large extent in Siberia, the Urals, and Central Asia. NI Vavilov in the 30s was the initiator of the introduction of its new varieties. However, from the mid-30s to the mid-80s, Jerusalem artichoke was undeservedly forgotten. It never became a widespread crop such as sunflower or potato. And only thanks to the ascetic scientists it was possible to preserve for the country a varietal collection of Jerusalem artichoke at the Maikop station of the VIR.

But why has interest in Jerusalem artichoke dwindled for so long? It turned out that it can only be grown outside the crop rotation. Like raspberries, it spreads throughout the garden area. It also attracts rodents. Dug up roots in raw form are difficult to store, and therefore the harvested crop must be quickly processed. If you leave Jerusalem artichoke in the ground for the winter, then half of the root crops can be eaten by rodents. Alas, there are no carefully developed environmentally friendly methods of rodent control. In addition, Jerusalem artichoke is a vegetable that is laborious in culinary processing.

But time goes on. The situation is changing. The Chernobyl thunder struck. After another 10 years, it was discovered that leukemia occurs in young cattle in the irradiated areas, and after 20 years leukemia in humans, especially in girls from 6 to 12 years old, became more frequent.

Whereas Jerusalem artichoke, along with other means, effectively promotes the restoration of the blood formula in both humans and animals. Growing in ecologically contaminated areas, Jerusalem artichoke almost does not absorb any radionucleides or heavy metals. And there is no intensive forage production based on Jerusalem artichoke. Jerusalem artichoke is almost not in demand everywhere.

Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke

In such a situation, there are more and more enthusiasts for the distribution and cultivation of Jerusalem artichoke. And the more the ecological situation becomes more complicated, the more health problems the population of the country has, the more popular Jerusalem artichoke becomes, and the use of agricultural technology in large areas accelerates the return on costs and increases the profitability of Jerusalem artichoke production. In recent decades, both in our country and abroad, active research has been carried out on the beneficial properties of Jerusalem artichoke.

It was found that it is much superior to potatoes in the content of ascorbic acid, B vitamins, especially iron and silicon. Medical research has found that the constant use of ground pear (Jerusalem artichoke) strengthens the immune system. Oriental medicine recommends using Jerusalem artichoke in its raw form for enteritis, inflammation of the mucous membrane of the small intestine, strengthens the nervous system during prolonged stress. It is useful for hypertension, coronary heart disease, leukemia, atherosclerosis, and especially diabetes. In autumn, Jerusalem artichoke tubers are used for the seasonal treatment of gastritis with high acidity.

In fact, all parts of this plant have one or another beneficial properties. For example, the leaves and flowers are used as medicinal tea, bath balneology, nutritious food for birds and animals. In the form of hay, haylage, silage, grass meal or feed yeast, they are used as animal feed.

Stems and flowers are used in industrial production for the manufacture of fructose syrup, alcohol (ethanol), cellulose (paper, cardboard), for the manufacture of household fuel briquettes. From raw, boiled, fried or canned Jerusalem artichoke tubers, products of increased biological value and food additives are produced.

Jerusalem artichoke flour, powders, concentrates are added to bread, pasta, noodles, buns, muffins, cookies.

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Features of Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke

What is this plant? Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) is an annual plant in the Aster family. Some consider it perennial due to the fact that tubers left in the ground since autumn sprout in spring and give a decent new harvest.

It appeared in our country in the 19th century. In the southern regions of Russia, Jerusalem artichoke is called the Volosh turnip, in Kazakhstan - "Chinese potato" and is used as a medicinal plant, in central Russia - an earthen pear.

The stalk of Jerusalem artichoke, depending on the variety and growing zone, has a height of one and a half to five meters. By the structure of the stem, it resembles a sunflower. The number of branches on a stem in different varieties can be from 14 to 30, bushiness - from 1 to 5 stems. The multi-flowered basket of bright yellow flowers of Jerusalem artichoke inflorescence also resembles a sunflower. The diameter of the basket is from 7 to 11 cm. In the early varieties, the number of inflorescences on the stem is greater than in the late varieties. Jerusalem artichoke fruit is a small achene, in which up to 1000 seeds ripen. But Jerusalem artichoke seeds ripen only in the south - in Transcaucasia, in the Crimea and in Central Asia.

In the underground part of the Jerusalem artichoke stem, numerous underground stolon shoots grow, on which tubers are formed. If the underground stems are short, the Jerusalem artichoke bush is more compact. Old semi-wild varieties have long stolons. On light soils, tubers spread within a radius of up to 1.5 meters, and by the cold winter they can go to a depth of 70 cm, but in new varieties the tubers are located more closely.

The form of Jerusalem artichoke tubers can be very different - oblong-oval, spindle-shaped, and more often pear-shaped. Due to the large number of children (growths), the surface of the tuber is significantly uneven. The average tuber weight, depending on the variety, soil and agricultural technology, is from 30 to 90 g.

Despite the fact that Jerusalem artichoke is a southern plant, it has high frost resistance and cold resistance. Tubers in the soil do not lose their germination even at -20 ° C. Jerusalem artichoke is a short day plant. In northern latitudes, its development is slower, the formation of tubers is delayed, but the growth of stems and leaves is enhanced.

Jerusalem artichoke tolerates temporary drought well, but lack of moisture affects tuberization. In dry summers, the yield will be higher with irrigation. Fertilization increases the yield by 1.5-2 times. Potassium is especially necessary for Jerusalem artichoke, since over the course of several years it takes a lot of it from the ground.

There are still few domestic varieties of Jerusalem artichoke. The Skorospelka variety is especially interesting for our climate. He has plants with a height of 1.5 meters, which means that they do not shade the area so much. In addition, its tubers ripen 40 days earlier than all other varieties.

Agrotechnics of Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke plantation is laid on a garden plot outside the crop rotation, since it can be grown in one place for 10-12 years. The arable layer should be deep enough, the alkaline reaction should be close to neutral. It is advisable to free the site from weeds and fill it well with organic (10 kg per m2) and mineral fertilizers.

In the early spring, tubers are planted in an ordinary way in ridges 18-20 cm high to a depth of 8-10 cm with a distance between rows of 100 cm, and between plants in rows - 35-40 cm.When planting, you can use not only tubers, but also parts of tubers with a sufficient number of eyes.

When the plants reach a height of 35-40 cm, it is better to re-hilling for better tuber formation.

If Jerusalem artichoke is planted in a small bed, then in the spring it can be covered with a film. Then green shoots are obtained two weeks earlier than without a film.

On a garden plot, Jerusalem artichoke should be planted at a distance from residential premises and outbuildings, from fruit trees and berry bushes, since old semi-wild varieties with their shoots can penetrate both buildings and the roots of trees and bushes, from where it is rather troublesome to extract them.

If Jerusalem artichoke is grown for animal feed, it is cut during intense flowering. For fattening pigs, it is finely chopped and steamed.

To use the green part of plants for medicinal and food purposes, Jerusalem artichoke is harvested at the beginning of flowering, then it is dried in a shaded, ventilated room.

Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke storage

Tubers peeled from the ground can be stored in an unheated storage facility in any container at a temperature of + 2 ° C, shifting the rows of tubers with a layer of sphagnum moss.

Small quantities of Jerusalem artichoke tubers, previously washed and dried, can be stored in the lower compartment of the refrigerator in tightly closed plastic bags. Sluggish, slightly frozen or damaged tubers are poorly stored.

Read the next part. Jerusalem artichoke recipes →

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