Jerusalem artichokes have a similar consistency and texture to potatoes.
They must be scrubbed, scraped and rinsed before preparing them to eat. Peeling is optional.
Make sure the pieces you cut off are discarded back into the artichoke bed or burnt because every little piece will grow.
Keep a separate container for the discarded bits so they never get mixed with other kitchen scraps destined for the compost bin.
Slice the tubers thinly, barely cover with water and boil with sage or thyme for about an hour till soft.
Boil six large pieces of pumpkin with the skin on. Add a chilli. Once the pot is cool, peel the skin off the pumpkin and place the rest, with the cooked artichokes, in the kitchen whizz.
The top of my wood burner is where I cook split peas in my 43-year-old pressure cooker.
The final ingredient is a leek, sliced thinly and sautéed, adding a cup of water or stock once soft. Macerate.
Serve with finely chopped parsley.
For five months I harvest, prepare, cook, freeze and give away artichoke soup, varying the flavour with different herbs and vegetables.
The tubers can also be eaten raw. The flavour is on the sweet and nutty side. For a large salad to feed four people, grate a piece about 5cm long. The tubers can also be roasted.
Jerusalem artichokes are high in iron and contain 650mg of potassium per cup (150g). A healthy adult should aim to consume 3500–4700mg of potassium daily.
Warning: eating this vegetable can make you fart. Some people call them 'fartichokes'. The delicious taste makes up for this drawback.
If you want some to cook or grow, go to Whanganui Environment Base, 83 Maria Place Extension, on a Wednesday this month. Phone 345 6000 to place your order.