Monday, October 12, 2009

First planting in new ground and preliminary babble

There is a plant thats called a Jerusalem Artichoke. And if you look them up online one of the first things you will learn is that they are not artichokes and they are not from Jerusalem. They are in fact a plant that is native to America. They are also called Sunchokes and even Passamaquoddy Potatoes, although my Passamaquoddy husband and his mother have both never heard of them. But we won't hold that against anyone, because out of the three names, that is probably the most logical one.

But i think i'll just call them JA's cause that is the shortest route.

They are actually a type of sunflower.

Anyway, i planted about 15# of them today.

Edit to add:
i planted 4 varieties

From an eBay seller, i got "Stampede" and "Red Fuseau".

From Oikos Tree Crops i got "Red Rover" and "White Fuseau" incidentally that is where i got my beach plum seedlings as well. They have great prices on some rugged plants.

Well, my mom and husband did much of the real labor. They dug, spaded and used the Mantis Tiller (i love that thing) to prepare the new ground, i just dropped the tubers into the trenches and tied the fluorescent string to the sticks so i wouldn't forget where they were.

I planted that many because i always expect about half of everything i plant to be eaten by something furry.
I also took out a sort of insurance policy by sending my mom a few pounds to put in her garden as well. If something eats all mine i could recover some from hers.... thats if nothing eats hers.

We live pretty rural out here in Maine. The banes of my existence are woodchucks and voles and don't forget snails and slugs. My parents have to contend with deer, wild turkeys and even the occasional moose. They have some red tailed hawks that hang out on their property that keep the squirrels and chipmunks in check

I don't have any red tailed hawks, so i have to just hope the woodchucks spontaneously combust. Unfortunately woodchucks don't do this. So the next idea is to use Havahart traps.
Anyway, talk of woodchucks leaves me in a bad mood, so i'll get back to what i like yammering about.


So, mom and i were outside doing the planting and hubby was getting the snowblower ready, i almost joked that he was going to cause it to snow.... and i come in and see exactly that in our forecast. But it looks to be a rain snow mix with temps in the 40's. But its still early to see even faux sneaux.

So it looks like we got the roots in just in time.

Hubby had sown some winter rye out in the yard to try and prevent any more washouts, but unless it warms up for a few days in a few days we won't get any benefit out of that effort.

So that sums up today's garden adventure.


After helping me by digging up my protogarden, my mom has taken my oldest daughter out apple picking today. I was considering trying to go (take lots of tylenol and try to suck it up), but after slipping on a wet spot in the yard and landing on my bad knee/leg, it was out of the question, tylenol won't even touch that kinda ouch.
But i should be getting a large paper shopping bag full of apples, so i can make a few pies and such.

i guess that will be it for now...


Faith said...

I had looked into JAs about 8 years ago. I've always been the sort to want a little bit of everything, always worried I'll miss out on something really special God has made.

Seems I remember reading that they can gt invasive... am I remembering right?

Love apple picking days. Well anything outdoors with family is right up there with me. :o)


icebear said...

i also read that they can be. not at the level of kudzu or anything like that, but i suppose they can get to be a nuisance if you don't harvest them thoroughly.
i read that if they become a hassle they can be destroyed by either tilling them under or mowing them down a number of times during the growing season. the idea is that they will waste all their energy just trying to regenerate, so when the cold season comes they are tapped out and will piddle away.

That said, i sure hope i find the middle ground.
Good crop, enough to share out, tall enough to create privacy from the neighbors but not make me regret i ever laid eyes on them! lol

I'm honestly expecting them to rot on me cause that seems to be my lot in life at times, just when i think i have things figured out... lol

oh, a bonus is that the Stampede variety is said to have chocolatey scented flowers. Since it is recommended to remove the flowers to get better roots, it is good that they are supposed make a fine cut-flower if you like informal bouquets.