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Jerusalem artichokes - where to find them in Toronto

They are perennials, grow like weeds, taste delicious, are healthy, and so, so hard to find. Why? I bought some at the Wychwood Barn Market a couple of weekends ago, but I want more, if possible. Anyone know who's selling them?

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  1. I found some at the big carrot. I Also used to get it from an organic business owner who ordered it from his organic vegetable suppliers.
    Non organic I haven't seen. if you're interested in the name of the store I can let you know, because I'm not sure if he orders it anymore for people.

    13 Replies
    1. re: BamiaWruz

      Sure, i don't mind giving a call to see. Thanks for the tip!!! Big Carrot is reasonably close to me.

      1. re: Full tummy

        Blossom Pure on Lakeshore near port credit. It's an organic store and you can ask the owner if he can order it for you from a farm, it's usually the size of a potato bag (5 lbs?)
        Probably call and ask instead of going all the way there if you decide to. The price was very reasonable though from what I remember.

        1. re: BamiaWruz

          Thanks!! I'm hoping to buy some tubers in the spring to grow in my yard... Maybe I'll have my own next year, haha.

          1. re: Full tummy

            They'll grow from the tubers, the rhyzomes and the seeds - take your pick and choose your spot wisely. They spread like mad - mine grew up to 8 feet tall until I took them out - took 3 years and then some to finally eradicate the stand. I now pick a wild stand nearby.

            If you have a good spot there is nothing to stop you planting now.

            1. re: DockPotato

              Can I put one in the ground from the market, that I bought just over a week ago? It's been in the refrigerator.

              1. re: Full tummy

                Why not? Should work. I've never planted them myself as they were here when we bought our hous but observed that they spread from previous tubers and rhyzomes. The tubers overwinter in any case in the frost band. I've never seen the seed for sale so i see no other option for you unless you know of a wild stand or someone wo could give you a good length of root. They're at their best at this time of year right after a few frosts.

                1. re: DockPotato

                  I planted it tonight. Fingers crossed. If it doesn't grow, I just lost one tuber, haha. Found a place to order some for the spring through this useful website:
                  Seeds of Diversity

                  The place where I'm going to order from (which also sells some other interesting stock, including Chinese artichokes):
                  Mapple Farm

                  1. re: Full tummy

                    Have those too. They're somewhat less invasive and only grow about 2 feet. They're tiny, crunchy and are pretty good in salads.

                    1. re: DockPotato

                      Wow, you lucked out when you bought your house (at least in this respect). How did you know those unwieldy plants had edible tubers underground?

                      1. re: Full tummy

                        The vendor told me. I didn't consider myself particularly lucky as they choked out and shaded anything else in the garden. Besides, wild ones are avalable a few hundred yards away. I may dig a few this weekend. Although just shrub sized, the Chinese artichokes spread as well and were simply not worth the effort and real estate.

                        1. re: DockPotato

                          I have read that it's best to plant them in something underground, like a buried kiddie pool or such, so their roots don't spread. Where do you find wild ones?

      2. re: BamiaWruz

        I saw some there (Big Carrot) yesterday. They were beautiful: big and firm.

        1. re: Atahualpa

          Thanks, I will have to make a trip there in the next day or two.

      3. Bruno's on Avenue Road has them.

        Bruno's Fine Foods
        2055 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

        5 Replies
          1. re: Full tummy

            In the west end KO's on Roncesvalles has them.

            1. re: jamesm

              Thanks, that's a bit west for me, but if I'm out there soon... What's KO's?

              1. re: Full tummy

                Veggie market in the north east corner of st lawrence market has them for most of the growing season.

                On another note, they are called different things in different places. Try asking for sunchokes or girasole

                1. re: Full tummy

                  KO's is the name of a really good little vegetable market on Ronces. Lots of hard to find stuff, fresh and well-priced.

          2. i've bought them at longos before. unfortunately, they are sold pre-packaged ... but still yummy, nonetheless.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lilaki

              Well, that's convenient for me. Will have to see if they have any now.

              1. re: Full tummy

                Harvest Wagon has 'em, have seen at Pusateri's (Avenue Rd.) & Whole Foods. Bathurst & St. Clair Loblaws had them last weekend, and so did Fiesta Farms.

                1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                Harvest Wagon
                1103 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W, CA

                1. re: Prok

                  Wow!!! You really make the rounds! Thanks for this. Maybe the Loblaws near me has them...

            2. The Healthy Butcher on Eglinton has them. I've also seen them at Karma Co-op.

              And if you saw them at Wychwood Green Barn a couple of weekends ago, chances are the same farmer will have them this weekend, too. (Green Barn is one of the year-round farmers' markets in Toronto.)

              The Healthy Butcher
              565 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

              Healthy Butcher
              298 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M4R, CA

              3 Replies
              1. re: Tatai

                Thanks for the Healthy Butcher info. Yes, I figured they'd be at the market again, but I don't get out that way too often...

                Healthy Butcher
                298 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M4R, CA

                1. re: Tatai

                  I can confirm - Vicky's at the Wychwood Green Barn market had them again this morning, and expected they would next week too.

                  1. re: wickalicious

                    Sounds like a good place to start looking. Where do you park around the Wychwood market area?

                2. Fortino's, at Lawrence Square, usually sells them.

                  1. I saw some today at Whole Foods in Oakvile. I imagine you can find them at Whole Foods in Toronto. They also go by the name of "Sunchokes" but I am sure you knew that.

                    I tried them for the first time this fall as I picked some up from a local farmers market. Definitely an interesting taste.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ylsf

                      I sautéed some in butter, and the others I roasted in the pan with chicken, so they were sitting in the juices for a time and cooked longer. I liked the crispness of the pan-fried, but the roasted ones were more potato like. How did you cook yours?

                    2. There's a big basket of them at 4 Life Natural Foods in Kensington.

                      1 Reply
                      1. The grocer on the corner of Baldwin and Kensington in Kensington Market has them year round.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: trane

                          How do they do that? Jerusalem artichokes are in season now, at least the ones from Ontario...

                          1. re: Full tummy

                            You're right that the peak season is now, but, you can find young tubers starting in late August (they are small, softer, and have less sweetness), and they also will over winter in the ground, so you have a good season digging up the fall crop in early spring.

                            I have seen them at the north market in mid-winter and the seller said they were lifted late in the fall and stored in their cellar.

                            So, it seems you can get local ones in just about all the seasons except summer.

                            1. re: Atahualpa

                              The tubers develop over summer and so, yes, they may be harvested, but it takes a good frost to bring on the taste. They are good over winter if you can get at them through the snow and frozen ground. I guess if you get at them early enough in the spring they're okay, but they get mushy as they approach propogation.

                              1. re: DockPotato

                                You're right on all accounts. They are much less flavourful before the top vegetation stops growing and the plant starts storing sugars in the tuber for winter. You don't need a full frost, just late fall coolness.

                                If you harvest as soon as you can work the ground in the spring, you're good. If you wait, they either sprout or go too soft.

                                1. re: Atahualpa

                                  What about the seeds? In spite of having had them as pets and pests, I never tried the seeds. Are they good to eat?

                                  1. re: DockPotato

                                    I have never tried the seeds from any native/wild sunflower. This is probably related to the fact that I'm not a huge fan of commercial sunflower seeds either.

                        2. They still had them this past weekend at the Vicki's Veggies stand at the Wychwood Barns. You can always email her through her Web site to see if she's bringing more this weekend....

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                            Are they still in season?? I've been looking for them out in the East end but can't find them

                            1. re: jo_jo_ba

                              No, not since the snow arrived. They were already getting oldish in November.

                              1. re: jo_jo_ba

                                I saw them this evening at Highland Farms, Dufferin, south of Steeles.

                                1. re: OTFOODIE

                                  Wow!!! Well, they must have them in cold storage.

                                  1. re: OTFOODIE

                                    I bought some at the STL last weekend. They were firm and quite good.

                                    They over winter in the ground well and can be dug up whenever the ground can be worked. Expect to see some in the early spring too when the snow (if we get any!) first melts.

                                    1. re: Atahualpa

                                      Thanks for the tip. I haven't seen them at all any time other than fall...

                              2. Hard to find? I've seen them at the Big Carrot, but I usually by mine at Sun Valley on Danforth Ave. I bought some there about 6 weeks ago. I never ave a hard time finding them.

                                Apparently this plant is considered to be a weed. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/c...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                  I also just bought 15 lb at pusateris, and I know whole foods has them too.

                                2. The best way to ensure a crop of Jerusalem Artichokes, is to grow them yourself. We have bought Jerusalem Artichokes in the past, from groceries, but in 2010, we decided to grow them in our back garden. Six (6) plants) yielded OVER 60 lbs. We gave away a lot of them. The plants grew in a roughly 3.5 foot squared area. So, you do not need a large back garden. As long as there is some sun, they will grow. Get the city compost, and grab a shovel, and buy a bag of tubers from Fiesta Farms on Christie. Stake the plants well (they grow to over 10 feet tall) and water them well.

                                  Fiesta Farms
                                  200 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: carriesmum

                                    Hi carriesmum,

                                    I did this last year, too. Luckily, I have lots of my own compost. I didn't harvest them last year since I started with just a couple of plants, but I am hoping they will spread massively this year. Based on your results, I'm thinking maybe I should have harvested them, hahaha.

                                    1. re: Full tummy

                                      Dear Full Tummy -
                                      you will be shocked and awed at the amount of jerusalem artichokes that you dig up.
                                      We have very sandy soil in our Parkdale/High Park garden and not enough compost to go around, so we picked up some city compost during a green day.
                                      I am not sure if these posts support links to other websites, but you can see photos of my very tall j-choke sunflowers and the crop, at:

                                  2. Natures Emporium in Newmarket have them in their produce department. Robert