sunchoke update








here you can see how my potted sunchoke has continued growing after i pruned it. i initially pruned it where my finger is, and it slowed for a bit, then grew off to the side.




so i pruned it again, just a bit, enough to slow it for a while.




i could put it outside, but i’m keeping it inside for experimental purposes.


here you can see sunchokes from my stress testing group, dried, frozen, ignored, forgotten; still sprouting. these need homes soon!




so, if you can, do go ahead and plant your sunchokes. there are also air potatoes in the pot, which will emerge later, and climb the sunchoke (that’s the plan, anyway).


they’ll do best away from the center of your garden space, perhaps on a yard edge or forest edge. they love sun but they’ll tolerate some shade, and they’ll grow just fine anywhere that you can help keep the grass down a little.

Air Potato; dioscorea bulbifera

this is teh air potato page


air potatoes are a beautiful strange vining plant. they have heart shaped leaves with purple highlights. they produce small, round starchy fruit by the hundreds along their vines. these fruit are edible and fairly flavorless. they are also viable seeds and all of them can grow into new plants.


however most of the calories in the plant is located in the starchy taproot. after a couple years, they are very large and extremely deep. for this reason they are difficult to harvest in their entirety.


the taproot flesh is white and flavorless, and very mucilaginous. it is excellent pickled.



what is going on in my nanobarrel?

Easy identification of our food plants is what Food Liberation Front is all about. There should be zero mystery about what food you have growing. All the information should be readily at hand, that’s half the point of the mobile app. So, to that purpose, let me tell you what’s probably going on in your pot.




Your sunchokes are sprouting! in many cases, they’re already a couple feet tall!  they’re gonna take over the place! isn’t that great? yeah!

but in the short term, you may want to prune them. we dont want them getting unwieldy while we still have so much left of winter. if they get too big, they will be difficult to plant outside without damaging the stalks. to prune them, simply snap off the top inch-ish of each stalk. this will slow their immediate upward growth.

the ones shown here have spindly, weak stalks, at least for the moment. i previously didn’t have the pot in enough sun, and the sunchokes were hunting for good light. i think now that they’re right in a window, they will stiffen up.



the air potatoes have not emerged yet. we’ll be on the lookout.


some nanobarrels were also planted with egyptian walking onions. these were planted rather at the last minute, from deep dormancy. transplanting shock combined with the transition to living in heated space caused some to shed a lot of their mass. however, at least in mine, the roots have taken hold and you can feel a healthy plant under the shed layers. if yours is dead, or you didn’t get one, contact me and i will get you one. it’s going to be a great year for walking onion, and their self-propagation through recursive scapes is really beautiful to witness.


the nanobarrels are still experimental at this phase. you are actually part of the very first tests to find out what perennial vegetables do best under what conditions. the Food Liberation Front is an effort to feed Everyone, but it’s also a collaborative science experiment. when the mobile app exists, you will have access to records on what was planted in your barrels, when, and how to harvest and cook it, or how to propagate it and make more food. you will also be able to easily document growth by just taking a picture, as well as being able to ask and answer questions in the community. and get points for everything!


so let me know what’s going on with your barrel! lets multiply our assets, all over the country and the world. and with our help, these durable food plants can really help create a freer, safer world.