Sunchokes, yacon and okra

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 22:35:05 PDT
Sunchokes are a pass-along plant here in California.  Found at most farmer's markets, purchased tubers can be planted and will grow like the weeds they are.  Unfamiliar with this plant, I put them at the base of the power pole in front of my house.  Unfortunately, being a member of the sunflower family, when the plants are mature they form thick stalks with bristly, unpleasant spines, making it impossible for the workers to climb the pole.  I now tear them out every year when they are small, which keeps the stalks small and much less painful.  I didn't know they come in different varieties.  I like the flavor but my tubers are small and hard to prepare since I won't replant them around the yard in fresh soil.  I have too many invasive plants as it is.

Northern California, Sierra Nevada foothills, zone 8/9, Mediterranean climate

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