Exhibition tips for Jerusalem artichokes
Few people bother to show Jerusalem artichokes, which is not surprising as the knobbly tubers are hardly an attractive vegetable. Added to this is the disadvantage that Jerusalem artichokes are rarely ready before late autumn and so can only be exhibited at either autumn or winter shows.
If you do intend to exhibit Jerusalem artichokes, try and grow the variety Fitseau, which has more regular tubers. Excessively knobbly tubers will be judged harshly and the other variety, New White, has this tendency.
Lift the tubers with care without damaging the skins and then wash them carefully with a sponge as soon as they are lifted. If dampdries on the skins they become discoloured. Allow the tubers to dry.
Once the tubers have dried, select large, less knobbly ones of similar size and colour. The normal number to exhibit is twelve. Select a few more than this to give you a choice at your final selection and immediately store the selected tubers for the show.
Even if the show is a local one they should be stored carefully, as they rapidly deteriorate if exposed to the light and air. Wrap the tubers individually in tissue paper and then again in brown paper or black polythene to exclude the light. Then place them in a box in a cool place until the show.
There is nothing you can do to make Jerusalem artichokes pretty but they can be made to look more attractive with a minimum of effort. Place the tubers in a symmetrical pyramid on a black plate or in a basket.