Sunday, 16 January 2011

vegetable's A - Z

I am going and try write about a different veg every week starting with the A's - Z's and as many letters as possible in between so hear goes with the letter A

A is for Artichoke

some people love them more people seam to hate them i must admit i am not a big fan my self.
there are several types of vegetables that we call artichoke but are completely different. they are from the family compositae with the exception of Chinese artichokes which are in the family labiatae these are very hard to get hold of.
the most popular of the artichokes being the globe artichoke where the unopened flower is eaten. next is the Jerusalem artichoke where the tuber is consumed much like potatoes are and lastly. Chinese artichokes which are still a bit of a novelty and you will find them hard to come by eaten in the same way as Jerusalem artichokes.

globe artichokes (cynara cardunculus)

there are no known wild globe artichokes they are believed to have been developed from cardoons or cynara syriaca which are found in the Mediterranean area. they have been cultivated for many years and are believed to have come to Britain by the Romans. where they became the food of choice for the kings and queens and are still classed as a bit of a delicacy today. original artichokes where raised by division of established plants now there are many seed raised varieties with larger heads fewer spines and can also fruit in the same year as sown
sow seeds February - April in good compost when germinated in a greenhouse or window sill prick out into 3" (9cm) pots grow on when the pot is filled with root harden off and plant out April - may in well prepared soil which has had a good amount of manure or compost added space 1m apart as they do get big and grow fast once they get there roots down give at least 1.5 - 2m between rows harvest flower bud between July - September dependent on variety and when you sowed in Autumn cut plants down to ground and mulch with compost or manure.

jerusalum artichoke (helianithus tuberosus)

they are native to north America and related to the sunflower they where introduced to Britain via Holland. and are a very hardy crop there knobbly tubers and are good for diabetics.
plant tubers February - march 15cm deep 30cm apart and 1m between the rows in well prepared soil. plant to the edge of your veg garden as they can grow up to 2m tall good for a summer wind break cut down foliage when frosted harvest December - January.

next week Asparagus


  1. I grown Jerusalem's for a couple of years now as they're so easy but not sure if I'll continue as the family aren't that keen and I'm lacking the inspiration to try new recipes. So I think I'll use the space for something else this year.


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