Gathering and Preparing Jerusalem Artichokes




Gathering and

Preparing the Jerusalem Artichoke

Called “an excellent food plant” by perhaps the greatest non -native gatherer in North America, Euell Gibbons, whose books should be on the shelf( or E-reader) of every harvester of wild foods, the Jerusalem Artichoke is easy to find,easy to prepare and healthy.

Gloves on, lets get started.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Description, Location and a Simple Hint

A member of the sunflower family, the Jerusalem Artichoke is found in waste areas,along some roadways, and in old fields. Its a tall plant, easily growing 6 or more feet in height, looking a lot like a sunflower but with narrower leaves and stems and a much smaller yellow blossom.

A hint for those looking for this plant and many other wild or edibles is to look for rows of flowering shrubs and or ruined foundations in rural areas . This are indicators of previous occupation and often contain the wild remains of previous gardens, and the edible weeds such as purslane, burdock etc. The picture with this step shows late summer Jerusalem Artichoke in front of a row a lilacs, a common lane-way and garden shrub of years ago.

Step 2: Bulbs in the Dirt

Once you have located a patch of Jerusalem Artichoke plants it's time to dig. The roots of this plant hold on tightly so I find it best to dig in a circle around a plant or two and then lift the whole plant, exposing the clump of roots. At the base of the roots will be a swollen bulb, this is the part you are looking for. Break the bulbs off and retain. There are often bulbs hidden in the mass of roots so I find it helpful to smash the root -ball on the ground a few times to loosen the dirt exposing the remaining bulbs.

Step 3: A Fist-Full of Food

With the dirt brushed off its easy to identify the bulbs.There are usually a lot of smaller bulbs but i prefer the finger size roots for ease of pealing.

Step 4: How Shall We Eat Them?

When you have the bulbs home,wash and peel the bulbs. Then its decision time.

Raw in a salad?

Cooked for 7-10 minutes in boiling salted water?

Pickled? Fried ? Roasted like potatoes?

The tyranny of choice!!!!

As versatile as potatoes, these free edibles are tasty no matter how prepared.The dish shown at the beginning of this instructable is boiled Jerusalem Artichoke with melted duck fat, a favorite of mine.

Hunter-Gatherer Contest

Participated in the
Hunter-Gatherer Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Furniture Contest

      Furniture Contest
    • Reuse Contest

      Reuse Contest
    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest

    8 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 4

    They grow quite easily in Florida. You can buy some at the market and plant a few of the tubors and be surprised at how they increase in number after four months or so. The leafy part of the plants did not grow so fast where i planted them but the tubors did. I did not fertilize, use chemicals nor irrigate and they did quite nicely. Since most people don't know what they are you can plant them in any sunny area off of your property and dig them up when wanted.


    4 years ago on Step 4

    How is the degree of firmness or the degree of softness? Is it chunky? Is it crispy? If it is thrown into acid, a kind of suger will be born?


    I need to find some of this! It will be easier with this info. Do you know if it will grow this late here in the southeast? Thanks for the ible! It's great!

    2 replies

    They grow spring to early winter here in South- Central Ontario but the edible bulbs are around all year. They are sometimes too woody to eat in the winter and early spring.I dont know how late they grow in your area but its likely they are still around due to the longer growing season in the south. Good luck and thanks for your comment, Robert


    5 years ago

    when I first saw the top picture, I thought it was a guide on how to extract your own teeth with a fork..

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent food source, DONT plant it in your garden it spreads like a monster through underground roots and will take you years to get rid of it.

    HOWEVER Personally I like the taste - like a slightly nutty potato. Makes a nice soup. It has however a reputation for giving you gas!! so be prepared.

    Why the third world isn't planting this to resolve a large part of their food problems I don't know.