Here is a post on growing and harvesting chinese artichoke. Chinese artichoke also know as stachys affinis or crosnes. it originates from China. It is another quite hard to find tuber or vegetable plant as it’s not availalbe in supermarkets. It is just not commercial viable.
I got the tubers last from ebay as it was the only I could buy this tuber. They were bought during autumn winter season. I have keep them under the cover over the winter. When the weather started to warm up the tubers started to sprout shoots at around March and April. They are very easy to grow and disease free I find. They do need a bit of room to grow as once the tubers start to sprout they grow like crazy.
It is recommend to grow them in not heavy clay soil as it is hard to get rid of dirt as they are quite knobbly. It is better to grow them in sunny spot so as generate a large crop of them. They only need watering during the dry weather otherwise they don’t need much care or attention.
They ready to harvest when come autumn when the first sign of frost cut down the leaves. The brown cut down stem are a telltale sign of where the chinese artichokes are located. Just slowly dig them up as they can get stuck in clay soil. Only harvest when it is need. As they are better left into ground outside than in the fridge. Once they are left on the ground they will regrow again the following year offering new crops.
Freshly harvest chinese artichoke taste crisp and sweet. All they need is good wash in water as the knobbly tubers don’t need any peeling. They are good in salads as they as crisp. As raw crudities. Once cook they take on a different character becoming starchy and potato- like taste.
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