A non-profit initiative of the Permaculture Education Institute & Morag Gamble

Surprise Sunflower!

by | April 21, 2021 | Permayouth | 0 comments

Hi, I’m Chloe!
I currently live on a 50-acre farm in northwest TAS – 45 acres of which is rainforest.

We’d been admiring a self-seeded sunflower for a while, when my mum was preparing some of the same garden bed to plant garlic in, when she remembered she’d planted Jerusalem artichokes (or as we call them ‘fartichokes’) in the same area.

Then looking at the sunflower more closely, she realised the yellow flowers were a lot smaller than the ones we’ve grown in the past.

Suspecting that the sunflower may not be all that it seemed she decided to conduct an archaeological dig and discovered fartichokes! – lots of artichoke tubers at the base of the “sunflower” stem!

The Jerusalem artichoke plant does look a lot like a sunflower – it has yellow flowers and similar shaped leaves. But while one creates varying sized heads full of delicious seeds, the other creates tubers underneath the soil.

Fun fact – did you know that Jerusalem artichoke leaves alternate at the bottom but are opposite higher up the stem? (which can get pretty high!)

You can roast them like potatoes (although the flavour is quite different) and even make artichoke soup. The Artist As Family (from Tree Elbow in Daylesford) pickle them, which reduces its methane gas producing qualities!


– 2L recycled jar
– ½ jar of artichokes
– 1tbls of salt
– 2 cups of water
– 1 tlbs mustard or dill seeds
– 1 tbls (bitten( pepper corns
– a few dried bay leaves
– 1 knob of garlic

Fill rest of jar with artichokes make sure they are all under the brine and they’ll be ready to eat in 4-6 weeks

– By Chloe Gibbard


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