Jerusalem artichoke, or earthen pear
The homeland of Jerusalem artichoke (earthen pear) is North America, where the Indians cultivated it from ancient times. In Europe, an earthen pear began to be grown before potatoes. In 1613, French travelers brought the Tu-Pinambo Indians to Europe. In time, this coincided with the spread of earthen pear, hence the name of the outlandish vegetable.
From France, culture spread throughout Europe. The first information about the cultivation of Jerusalem artichoke in our country dates back to the second half of the 18th century. The wild earthen pear is now found in Ukraine and North Ossetia.
Jerusalem artichokeor Sunflower tuberous (Helianthus tuberosus) Is a species of perennial herbaceous tuberous plants of the genus Sunflower of the Astrovian family (Asteraceae) The plant is also known under the name “earthen pear”, “Jerusalem artichoke”, “bulba”, “boulevard”, “drum”.
Widespread Jerusalem artichoke began in our time, from the beginning of the 30s of this century. Particularly great attention was paid to the development and alteration of the earthen pear Maikop breeding station. Here, for the first time, they got a hybrid of Jerusalem artichoke and sunflower, called topis sunflower. Both animals were cultivated for fodder and food.
The use of Jerusalem artichoke
The aerial part of Jerusalem artichoke is used for silage, and tubers - for food and as a juicy nutritious animal feed. Jerusalem artichoke and toxin are readily eaten by cows, goats, pigs, birds. Fructose, a valuable dietary product, is extracted from tubers. Fructose is obtained by hydrolysis of inulin, the main storage substance for tubers. Iron is richly represented in them, it is 3 times more here than in potatoes. That is why when feeding tubers to piglets they do not suffer from anemia.
Tominambur is endowed with high straight hollow stems with numerous lateral shoots. During irrigation, the plant grows a huge green mass. The height of plants often reaches 3.5 m. With poor watering and cultivation of tuberous varieties, the height of plants does not exceed 2 m. Often, gardeners use Jerusalem artichoke as a backyard plant.
The aboveground part of the earthen pear, mown in July, will not yield nutrient to meadow hay. It is readily eaten by livestock, and when seeding to peanut Jerusalem artichoke, the feed is still enriched with protein.
Description of Jerusalem artichoke
In earthen pears and sunflower seeds, as in potatoes, tubers form on underground stolons. Their shape is pear-shaped or spindle-shaped. They vary in size and color. There are tubers white, yellow, purple, pink, red.
Jerusalem artichoke inflorescence is a multi-flowered basket, similar to a small-sized sunflower basket. In the cold summer, plants in the Non-Black Earth Region usually do not bloom, but in the south they not only bloom, but also bear fruit. This plant is propagated mainly by tubers.
A remarkable property of an earthen pear is its cold resistance. Imagine her tubers, having wintered in the soil, as if nothing had happened in the spring they start to grow. Tubers of sunflower are less cold-resistant and worse in winter. The tubers of both plants germinate at 7..8 ºС. The stems grow well at 16..20ºС.
Growing Jerusalem artichoke
The aerial part at the beginning of the growing season develops slowly; growth only intensifies in July. In the northern regions, shaded plants increase tuberization (remember this well). In mid-July, when the tubers are the size of an acorn, you can spend the first cutting of green mass. Stems are not cut very low, leaving the first pair of lower leaves intact. Lateral shoots will grow from the sinuses of these leaves. The second mowing will ripen by the end of August. This is what happens when Jerusalem artichoke is grown for livestock feed. Both green mass and grass flour prepared from it are fed.
When cultivating an earthen pear on tubers, the green mass is removed in the fall, when it is silted. Tubers are dug up or left in the soil in the winter. When conducting a long-term culture, Jerusalem artichoke is grown in one place for 15 or more years. A case was registered when Jerusalem artichoke grew in one place over 40 years.
It is especially beneficial to grow Jerusalem artichoke unchanged in the area reserved for grazing pigs. At the same time, the green mass is harvested in the fall, and the tubers are released in the winter. In the spring, the animals themselves dig up tubers. On one head, 4-5 m² of landings for young animals and 6-8 m² for adult pigs are recommended. Tubers can also be fed steamed.
After grazing, before the tubers sprout, the soil must be dug up, leveled and fed. Jerusalem artichoke will resume from the remaining tubers in the soil.
Jerusalem artichoke care
When mastering this plant, keep in mind that although it is unpretentious to soil and climatic conditions, it does not tolerate waterlogged heavy soils. To fertilizers is very responsive. Harvest in fertilized areas increases 1.5–2 times.
In the fall, under new plantings of earthen pear, manure is brought in and the site is deeply dug. In early spring, heavy soils have to be dug up again, and the lungs are loosened up with a hoe. The site is marked in two directions, so that 70X70 cm squares are obtained.
Planting Jerusalem artichoke
Tubers are planted in early spring or autumn. In areas where moles or mice are found, Jerusalem artichoke is planted in the spring. In the nesting method, 2-3 small or 2 medium tubers are placed in each well. Then pour 1 to 2 handfuls of humus. The depth of embedment of planting material in the spring of 8 - 10 cm, and in the fall - 12-15 cm.
Tubers are planted in autumn immediately after digging them from other sites. In this case, the stolons (outgrowths) do not cut. If the tubers have dried before planting, they are lowered for 2-3 days in the water. Note that in the fall, planting tubers are not cut, in the spring they can be divided. Even with eyes, from which seedlings are grown in pots, Jerusalem artichoke can be propagated in spring.
As the seedlings appeared, before the rows were closed, the aisles were loosened 2-3 times. With sufficient moisture during the last inter-row treatment, plants are spudded. Under the second treatment, plantings are fed with urea - 10-15 g / m². If you master Jerusalem artichoke as a perennial culture, then you need to bring manure into the aisles every 5 years (in autumn). In spring, after harvesting the tubers, they also give nitrogen, phosphorus and potash fertilizers - 10-15 g / m² each.
Harvesting and storage
It should be borne in mind: during spring harvesting, Jerusalem artichoke harvest is often obtained 1.5 times higher than autumn. In the fall, tubers are harvested as late as possible: until October, nutrients outflow from the stems to storage organs. For storage, the tubers nests can be turned out entirely. Store in pits dug in areas with low standing groundwater or in cellars, pouring layers of tubers with sand. Storage temperature not higher than 1..2 ºС. So that the dug up tubers do not dry out, they are laid in storage immediately after harvesting.
Diseases and pests of Jerusalem artichoke
Tominambur and sunflower are resistant to diseases and pests. But sometimes on thickened landings or heavy swimming soils, they are affected by sclerotinia. The same disease destroys carrots and sunflowers. That is why these cultures cannot be placed side by side.
Varieties of Jerusalem artichoke
To date, breeders have bred many varieties of Jerusalem artichoke. Here are some of them: Yield White, Volzhsky, Interest, Nakhodka, Vadim, Saratov, Tambov, Leningrad White, Kiev White, Hybrid 15, etc.
Jerusalem artichoke recipes
Delicious dishes are prepared from earthen pear. Just keep in mind that peeled tubers in the air quickly darken. They are cleaned with a bone, wooden or metal stainless knife and kept in cold, slightly acidified with vinegar water until use.
- Baked earthen pear. Washed tubers with unpeeled peels are placed on a baking sheet, baked in the oven for 40-50 minutes on low heat. Eat with oil in the peel or peeling it. To taste, salt and pepper.
- Ground pear with breadcrumbs. The tubers are peeled, boiled in salt water, laid out on a dish and watered with vegetable oil, sprinkled with crushed crackers.
- T. Oblezova, Candidate of Agricultural Sciences.