The Jerusalem artichoke is produced to a very limited extent for American markets. It is native to the northern part of the United States and to parts of Canada. Although the tubers, which constitute the edible part, are regarded as equal to the potato in nutritive value, the taste is not relished by most people. They may be served boiled, pickled or cooked for salads. The tubers are most valued for stock feeding. Hogs are especially fond of them and are sometimes privileged to harvest the crop.
This vegetable does well in poor soil, but responds to liberal feeding. Sandy loams are preferred. Under favorable conditions the plants are said to yield 500 to 1,000 bushels an acre. The tubers may be planted whole, or cut into one to three-eye pieces, in the same way that potatoes are prepared for planting. Planting very early in the spring is essential to heavy yields. The rows should be about 3 feet apart, and the tubers or cut pieces 15 to 18 inches apart in the row. As soon as the tops are dead the crop may be dug, or left in the ground all winter without danger of injury by freezing.