Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was killing time at Walgreens and I read the back of a box of diet pills. Okay, let's be honest: I was considering purchasing a box of diet pills. The main ingredient of the diet pills turned out to be Jerusalem artichokes.
"What a con!" I said, "We've got those in our garden!"
That was my first year of growing them, and I didn't quite yet realize how much Jerusalem artichoke we had in our garden. Jerusalem artichoke, when it's in the ground, looks like a sunflower, but with different leaves. It's about nine feet tall. I knew it was a perennial, but I assumed that, if I dug up the bulbs (because that's the part you eat) they wouldn't come back the next year. After all, my potatoes don't come back the next year when I dig them up.
Not so with Jerusalem artichoke. Every year, I dig them up, and every year, they come back more plentifully. Here they are this year:
I don't know if this picture quite shows how it is spreading away from the garden, right out into the lawn.
We always joke that we won a lifetime supply of Jerusalem artichoke!
It's a joke, because Jerusalem artichoke is bland and lumpy. It's not something anyone would give as a prize, I don't think. I just dutifully eat it once a week, year round, because it's free food that grows in our yard.
But then, a few weeks ago, I started reading nutrition studies, well into the night. [I'm sorry- I couldn't find the exact article for this post.] I'm not sure why, just got interested. As it was heading towards midnight, I came across something that listed Jerusalem artichoke as one of the few foods that really helps you regulate your food intake. Without getting into too much detail, I think I can safely say that it helps you to feel full. So.
The diet pills weren't such a joke, after all!
And I, apparently, have a lifetime supply of natural weight regulation medicine growing right here in my lawn!
Knowing that Jerusalem artichoke helps me stay fit makes me so much happier to eat my free, lumpy mush once a week.