Aug 1, 2013 by


Article Written by : Landscape Garden Idea

I continue with the vegetable artichoke, (as there are more) for if you have tried the globe artichoke, which certainly has many health giving benefits, you will want to try further artichokes, not only for healthy reasons, but because of the varying tastes.

ARTICHOKE Jerusalem.

Believe it or not the Jerusalem artichoke has no connection with  Jerusalem, for when this artichoke was first discovered it was called  GIRASOLE, which in Italian translates to sunflower! In fact JERUSALEM Artichokethe Jerusalem  artichoke belongs to the same genus as the garden sunflower Helianthus  annuus, ( the similarity between the artichoke flowers and sun  flowers  is shown in the picture),over a period of time and  translations the word  girasole became  Jerusalem, subsequently the Jerusalem artichoke is  referred to as :- Sunchoke or Sunroot.

At this time I feel I should warn you that in common with other  vegetables they may cause “flatulence”, and is sited in an article written in  1621 by the English planter John Goodyer “which way soever they be  dressed and eaten ( he is talking about Jerusalem artichokes), they stir and  cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the  belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than  men”. this can now be dismissed for many millions of people have  consumed  Jerusalem artichokes, stating that tubers of the artichoke are  both nutritious  and flavoursome.

Samuel de Champlain the French explorer found the “artichokes  growing at Cape Cod in 1605, ( native Americans grew them long before  the arrival of the europeans) and when he sent a sample of the “artichoke”  he noted the taste was similar to an artichoke, hence the name artichoke.

The edible part of the Jerusalem artichoke is the tuber which is  uneven, probably similar in looks to a ginger root, if left in the ground, it  does like a potatoe, and will grow yet again, however to maintain a quality  they should be dug up and replanted in a prepared fertile soil, or perhaps  you would like to leave them in for the artichoke flowers, but do beware  for they can spread like weeds.

Just to make you aware of the healthy benefits of the Jerusalem  artichoke, they contain 10-12% of the RDA fibre, niacin, thiamine,  phosphorus, copper, and are very high in iron, have 115 calories and  650mg  of potassium in a single cup serving.

If you obtain fresh Jerusalem artichoke, and steam them  properly you will find they have a mild, sweet and nutty flavour that does  not require added suace or condiments.

Health benefits and flavour, and you haven’t tried one yet?

CHINESE Artichoke.

Another artichoke with many names :- Knotroot, Atichoke Betony  and Crosne. Like the Jerusalem artichoke it is the tuber that is the edible  part, and should be cooked or steamed in a similar way. The tubers are  delicious and delicate in taste, although the Chinese artichoke can be used  both as a vegetable, many people use the artichoke as a garnish.

Although it is relatively easy to grow the Chinese artichoke, as  it does not need to be earthed up or staked, it tends to be the cook who  dislikes this artichoke, due to it being small with indentations and  convolutions, making preparation difficult, even though the Chinese artichoke has a thin skin ivory/white to a brownish white and where it has  been cultivated  properly the flesh of the artichoke is white and tender.

Should you want to try a fresh Chinese artichoke they are  normally available at the beginning of October.


You may know Arugula as Rocket or Rocket salad ( amongst  it’s other names Arugula is also called Garden rocket, rugola, rucola and  roquette). Grown as a vegetable in the Mediterranean, in Roman times it  was used as an aphrodisiac, and was collected in the wild. Since scientific  research in the 1990s Arugula is now cultivated around the world  especially in Veneto Italy.

Arugula is easily grown, but can go to seed quite quickly, so if  you take some of the seed you can plant more, which will be ready by the  time the first planting is dying off or gowing to seed.

A member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae=Cruciferae)  Arugula is rich in iron and vitamin, A, and CA, with a rich peppery taste,  useful  in salads whilst the Italians use Arugula in pizzas, sometimes used  in pesto, or as additional to Basil.

Yet another healthy food, Arugula, when served as a half cup  serving only contains 2 calories.


Whilst asparagus belongs to the lilly family, you can compare  the similarities, for asparagus like the lilly, grows from a crown. When  planting the asparagus (the bigger the better) crown it should be planted about 12 inches deep in a  sandy type soil, as they are capable of growing  up to 12 inches in a 24 hour period dependant on the external temperature.

However if you harvest the asparagus early in the season you  will find  they need to  be picked every 4 or 5 days but with the increasing  temperature you may need to pick the asparagus every 24 hours as every crown of the asparagus produces the spears for anything up to 7 weeks in spring and early summer,  the asparagus crown will not produce  immediately  on planting, but will take  about 3 years to start producing, as  this initial period is the time taken for the asparagus to take in the nutrients  and develop before the spears to appear.

Having harvested the asparagus, the spears will produce  the  fern with a red berry and at this time the asparagus starts to absorb the  nutrients for the following seasons growth.

If you are not already eating asparagus, I will give you the  health benefits that will make it worthwhile, for the asparagus is full of  nutrients, vitamins B6, C and thiamin as well as being a good source of  fibre and high in Folic acid as well as potassium, not only that but  asparagus contains no cholesterol, no fat and is low in sodium.

In reading about the vitamins and variuos minerals of  artichoke and asparagus, I hope I am trying to convince you that what  various health people are saying is really true.

As a suggestion why not try one of each of the  vegetables on my pages every time you have a meal! Remember they can be  used in salads, as starters or like the other well known vegetables, you do  not have to purchase a large amount to try them, but at least you may like  the different flavours and possibly grow them in your garden.


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