The other day I was walking by the garden and noticed that there were multiple mole hills on the ground where we planted our Jerusalem Artichokes. I wasn’t planning on harvesting them this year, instead, I was going to leave them in the ground over the winter to increase our root stock for next years crop. However, with the moles feasting on them I figured I better dig them up before we lost the whole crop. As you’ll see in the video the “moles” aren’t really moles they are actually the Northern Pocket Gopher. Most people I have met call them moles though, probably because they look similar and produce dirt mounds.
Jerusalem Artichokes are a perennial sunflower that are mainly grown for the root tubers they produce. The tubers are very high in the carbohydrate inulin which is difficult for humans to digest and is often classified as a prebiotic because it feeds gut bacteria. Jerusalem Artichokes can cause a significant amount of gas if you eat too much in one sitting. There are some things that you can do during the cooking process to mitigate this but they are best consumed in smaller quantities. I don’t consider them to be a great carbohydrate source like potatoes because of this drawback. However, they are a great permaculture plant and both the leaves and the tubers are good animal feed as the pocket gophers will attest to. They are also really easy to grow.