Jerusalem artichoke is a very beautiful, tall plant with huge yellow flowers similar to those of a sunflower. It is unpretentious and grows very quickly.
The fruits of the plant resemble potato tubers. It is actively used for food. There are many recipes for making an earthen pear.
But in order to use it not only in autumn, but also in winter, you need to know how to properly preserve its fruits. After all, they must not only not lose their appearance, but also preserve useful properties. How to store will be described below.
When to dig it out?
One of the important factors in growing and getting a good rich harvest of any crop is meeting the harvest time. Jerusalem artichoke can be safely kept in the ground until the end of autumn.
Reference! Earthen pear is a frost-resistant plant and easily tolerates frosts up to 20 degrees.
Interestingly, many gardeners leave the plant in the ground until spring. Why is this happening? When should you still dig out a crop for storage?
The tubers of this plant resemble potatoes in appearance and taste.... Therefore, many consider them interchangeable. Jerusalem artichoke fruits are preserved in the ground even in very severe frosts. It is enough for gardeners to cover the bed with grass, and they will last until spring.
If you plan to remove half of the fruit for storage, and leave the rest in the ground, then the stems should be cut off. They do this just before the frost and leave a height of about 20 cm. Tubers are dug up after a couple of weeks, during which time their yield may even increase.
Those who left part of the harvest in the ground before spring should have time to dig them up with the first sun. Otherwise, if the ground has time to warm up, the tubers will sprout and become not so tasty and healthy. There is another problem - rodents. By the spring, they can spoil the crops left in the ground.
Why is it important to maintain optimal conditions?
Each method of storing Jerusalem artichoke, whichever you choose, has its own characteristics. The most important parameters are temperature and humidity. Jerusalem artichoke does not like warmth and sun... Direct sunlight will kill the tubers. It is also important to keep the humidity high to keep the fruit from drying out.
When stored in a cellar, it must be sprinkled with sand, or stored in boxes. Jerusalem artichoke should not be laid on a concrete floor, otherwise it will immediately lose all moisture and deteriorate. The safety of the fruits and their beneficial properties will depend on how accurately the storage conditions are met. Read about the benefits and dangers of Jerusalem artichoke here, and we wrote about all the medicinal properties separately.
Is there a difference in preservation at different times of the year?
At any time of the year, storage of Jerusalem artichoke in an apartment, cellar, refrigerator will not be long. It is stored for a relatively short time.... Only freezing and drying the fruit will prolong its preservation. Therefore, it does not matter whether the crop will be harvested in the fall or in the spring. It will be stored in the same way. If it is possible to leave the tubers in the ground, then it is better to use this and extract Jerusalem artichoke as needed.
Ways to keep fruits fresh at home
There are several ways to preserve Jerusalem artichoke fruit. Each method is good enough. But the ideal option is still to store the tubers in the ground. If, of course, the climate in which you live allows.
How to store in the cellar in winter?
The tubers of the plant are very delicate, you should not especially carefully clean off the soil from them and often shift them from place to place. If you damage them, the fruits will start to deteriorate within a few days.
Why is the basement good in terms of storage? This method does not require much time and effort, but the storage times in it will be short.
There are several options for keeping Jerusalem artichoke in the cellar:
- Use a place where you store carrots.
- Place Jerusalem artichoke there and sprinkle with sand.
- Do not separate the excavated tubers from each other.
- Without shaking them off the ground, place them in a container of a suitable size.
- Put Jerusalem artichoke in regular boxes: wooden, plastic, whatever you find. Cover the top with moss, sawdust or peat.
- Lubricate the tubers with clay and let dry. Place in a bag and tie tightly to leave as little air as possible.
- Place the tubers in bags of soil.
- Each root can be treated with paraffin. To do this, they need to be dipped in melted paraffin, allowed to dry, then removed to the basement.
Check from time to time to keep the crop from rotting. It is important to observe the temperature regime not higher than 5 C. In the cellar, it can be stored for no longer than a month.
Do not store Jerusalem artichoke next to potatoes and beets.
Can I freeze my home in the freezer?
The advantages of this method are that you do not need to think about the fact that the skin of the fruit will suffer. There are no drawbacks to storing Jerusalem artichoke frozen.
Peel the fruit before placing it in the freezer. Cut them in whatever way is convenient for you to eat. The sliced fruits can be placed in plastic bags or containers. Due to the fact that the plant tolerates low temperatures well, it will retain its beneficial properties even when frozen. Jerusalem artichoke should be thawed in cold water in order for this process to be gradual.
The freezer will keep the fruits for up to three months.
The advantages of this storage method include the fact that all the useful properties of the plant are preserved. Although many people mistakenly believe that after drying the tubers lose them. Difficulties can arise only at the stage of preparation... Use a ceramic knife for cutting, the metal oxidizes the tubers. Remember that Jerusalem artichoke does not like direct sunlight, so store it only in a dark place.
You can dry the tubers cut into strips in the oven or outdoors in the shade. Dried Jerusalem artichoke is stored for several months, if the conditions are not violated.
This method allows the tubers to remain juicy for a long time.... It is very important to do the waxing procedure quickly, as Jerusalem artichoke does not tolerate overheating.
- Tubers should be cleaned from the ground very carefully, without damaging the skin.
- Dry a little.
- The tubers are dipped into the prepared paraffin and left to dry. The procedure should be carried out in a cold room so that the fruits cool quickly and not overheat. Otherwise, it will be detrimental to the earthen pear.
- Further, the tubers can be placed in the basement in boxes, or left in the apartment in a cool place. They will be stored for no more than a month.
Natural shelter in the ground
Storing Jerusalem artichoke in the ground is the most successful of all methods.... In the ground, it will remain until spring. The disadvantages of this method are that if you live in a climatic zone where it is very cold and the ground freezes deeply. It will be difficult to dig it up when the need arises.
You can cover the fruits for the winter with grass, cardboard, plywood. In March, it is already possible to dig out the remaining harvest, since with warming, the tubers will begin to sprout.
This method is suitable for those who have nowhere to store it in the house, no cellar or space in the refrigerator, for example.
Storage in trenches - approximation to natural conditions in which Jerusalem artichoke grows. Disadvantages are rodents that can enter trenches and ruin crops... In this case, you can put the poison, or lay burdock inflorescences next to the tubers.
The trench should be prepared in the fall, while the ground is soft enough. Its depth should reach 50 cm. The bottom is covered with straw or sawdust. Good, intact fruits are placed on the bottom of the pit and covered with earth, sand, straw. Cover with foil and add another layer of earth.
The earthen pear will be stored until spring.
How to understand that the fruit is spoiled?
You can understand that the fruits have deteriorated by their external signs and smell:
- the fruits have dried up, have ceased to be juicy;
- the tubers have turned black;
- there is no smell;
- mold has appeared;
- green and black spots appeared on frozen tubers;
- fruits that were stored in bags sweat and a fungal coating has formed on them;
- the tubers are rotten.
Do not eat Jerusalem artichoke with the above symptoms.
There are many ways to keep Jerusalem artichoke at home in winter. Everyone can choose for themselves the most convenient and suitable in terms of storage time and complexity of preparation. Properly preserved Jerusalem artichoke will strengthen health, saturate the body with trace elements and vitamins, which it needs so much, especially in winter.