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Jerusalem Artichoke Part 2

Soils
For best results, sunchokes should be planted in fertile sandy loams or well-drained river bottoms in which tubers are easier to dig. Generally soils suitable for potato (Solanum tuberosum) and corn (Zea mays) production are suitable for Jerusalem artichoke production.
Planting
Planting can be early in the spring, when the soil can be satisfactorily worked. Later planting results in reduced yields. Whole tubers or pieces of tubers that are no less than two ounces and have two or three prominent buds should be planted. Smaller seed pieces will reduce yields but larger seed pieces (over 2 oz) will not significantly increase them. Do not allow cut seed pieces to dry before planting. Plant 3 to 5 inches deep, in rows 36 to 42 inches wide with 15 to 24 inches between plants.
Cultural Management
Cultivate shallowly and only as needed to control grass and weeds as the planting is being established. During plant establishment, grass and weed problems will be reduced by shading since plants grow over 6 feet high. Tubers begin to form in August and may become 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches in diameter.
Harvesting
The crop should not be harvested until after frost. Tubers dug later in the season are sweeter but have less inulin. Tops should be cut with a mower.
Handling and Storage
The skin of Jerusalem artichokes is very thin. Care should be taken in handling to avoid skinning, cuts and bruises. The skin is also susceptible to rapid moisture loss so the crop should be put in storage immediately after harvest. Cold storage facilities should have high humidity (85 to 95% relative humidity) and a temperature near 32°F. Under these conditions, tubers can be kept for several months.
Precaution
The Jerusalem artichoke is a very strong growing perennial and can become a weed problem. Since it is nearly impossible to harvest all the tubers in a field or garden, there will be a large number of volunteer plants the following spring. It is important to destroy all these volunteer plants before they can set tubers in August.

 
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Jerusalem Artichokes part 1

What Are Jerusalem artichokes?

The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America, and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable
Before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans cultivated Helianthus tuberosus as a food source. The tubers persist for years after being planted, so that the species expanded its range from central North America to the eastern and western regions. Early European colonists learned of this, and sent tubers back to Europe, where it became a popular crop and naturalized there. It later gradually fell into obscurity in North America, but attempts to market it commercially have been successful in the late 1900s and early 2000s.

Why Use Jerusalem artichokes?

The artichoke contains about 2% protein, no oil, and a surprising lack of starch. It is rich in the carbohydrate inulin (76%), which is a polymer of the monosaccharide fructose. Tubers stored for any length of time will convert their inulin into its component fructose. Jerusalem artichokes have an underlying sweet taste because of the fructose.  Jerusalem artichokes have also been promoted as a healthy choice for type 2 diabetics because naturally occurring fructose, i.e. intact or found within the whole food, is easily tolerated by people – including type 2 diabetics – assuming a diet of normal, i.e. low, non-toxic sugar intake. It has also been reported as a folk remedy for diabetes.  Temperature variances have been shown to affect the amount of inulin the
artichoke can produce. When not in tropical regions, it has been shown to make less inulin than when it is in a warmer region

 
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Red Lake Earth

DragonLand Farm DE

What is Red Lake Earth ?
It is diatomaceous earth with calcium bentonite.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
It is a non-toxic, safe for humans & animals substance made up from crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life. Crushed to a fine powder and observed through a microscope, the particles (deadly to fleas, & parasitic worms) resemble bits of broken glass.
What is bentonite?
Taken internally, bentonite supports the intestinal system in the elimination of toxins. Bentonite is inert which means it passes through the body undigested.Bentonite clay is made up of a high number of tiny platelets, with negative electrical charges on their flat surfaces and positive charges on their edges.
When bentonite clay absorbs water and swells up, it is stretched open like a highly porous sponge. Toxins are drawn into these spaces through electrical
attraction and bound.
In fact, according to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology (2), bentonite clay can reportedly absorb pathogenic viruses, as well as herbicides and
pesticides. The bentonite is eventually eliminated from the body with the toxins bound to its multiple surfaces.

Why use Diatomaceous Earth?
It drys bedding keeping down flies & odor
As a dust bath for poultry
Fight lice and other external pests by rubbing into the coat of the animal. Both internal and external parasite and insect pest control will result in improvement in health, appearance and behavior, as well as assimilation of feed, which means improved weight gain and lowered feed cost.
More and more people are putting diatomaceous earth in their animal feed. fish, fowl or food. Most insects have a waxy outer shell covering their bodies, scratches through this shell causing the insect to dehydrate leading to eventual death. Diatomaceous Earth mode of action for insect and parasite control is strictly natural not chemical. The microscopically sharp edges contact the insect or parasite, and pierce their protective coating, so they soon dehydrate and die. The larvae is affected in the same way. This makes Diatomaceous Earth an excellent and totally natural control, with no indicating of mechanical or chemical damage to the animal tissue.

Spread it on your lawn to kill slugs
Use it as an extremely gentle exfoliant. It is also great in facial masks to absorb excess oil.

 
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