Posts Tagged ‘biofuel


Jerusalem artichokes

The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called the sunroot or sunchoke or earth apple or topinamburI reckon that every garden should have Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus). It’s like an insurance policy – you’ll always have food growing in your yard. Because once you plant them, it’s almost certain you’ll always have them. And you won’t have to lift a finger to help them grow.

Don’t get your Jerusalems confused with your globes. The Jerusalem artichoke is a brown-coloured, knobbly, white-fleshed tuber root vegetable, much like a yam. It has quite a nutty flavour. Cook them like you would any other root vegetable.

Jerusalem artichokes grow in almost any soil type or shade condition, but do best in a light but rich soil. Pick your patch with these things in mind – 1 – the tops grow to about 2 metres and can easily shade out other plants – 2 – any small amount of the root left in the ground will produce another plan. Best time to harvest is in autumn when the sunflower-like heads die off.

Nutritionally, these tubers rock with plenty of potassium, iron, vitamin C, protein, niacin, thiamine and fibre. They contain about 57 calories per half cup. Margaret Lynch provides really good information on preparing Jerusalem artichokes for eating.

The tubers are also a wonderful source of biomass for ethanol production, good source of fructose and a great forage crop for livestock, especially pigs.

Jerusalem artichoke links and recipes after the jump. Continue reading ‘Jerusalem artichokes’


Getting All Natural on a Sunday

New Zealand bushSunday night nature documentaries have been a tradition since I was a kid. Unfortunately, TV stations don’t have the same concern and it’s left me yearning for some good David Attenborough. Unfortunately again, he can’t make them faster then I watch them so I’ve had to turn to the internet to sate my nature voyeurism.

TERRA: The Nature of Our World is the first online science and nature film series. 100 short films from all over the world take a look at the planet’s diversity. Cascading Effects shows the most beautiful landscapes while looking at the effects of global warming. You can also see why frogs really matter, Yellowstone’s nature corridor,  learn about parasite/host co-evolution (more interesting then it perhaps sounds), and coronal mass ejections (not as dirty as it sounds). And who would have thought there would be a hippo – cocaine connection?

Of particular interest to us LovePlantLife types is Algal Biofuels and Gimme Green looks at America’s obsession with lawns — don’t tell me it’s not an obsession, it’s a $40-billion industry! But the sparkling diamond must be Jewels of the Jungle, 6 episodes about Dr. Gary Strobel’s hunt for medicinal plant compounds through the world’s jungles. This stuff is pure gold!


Notes from US Biofuels Expert David Blume – Growing Your Own Fuel

Last week, I went to the most inspiring talk. None of this doom and gloom the world is ending stuff that you’d expect from any talk concerned with Peak Oil. Instead, David Blume described how we can take control of our fuel needs by growing it ourselves, or with the help of neighbours with Community Supported Ethanol.

David stresses that almost everything that can be made from oil can be made from plants. This stuff is pretty near and dear to the hearts and minds of the LovePlantLife team. We’ll be doing lots of follow-up on this one.

Notes on David’s talk on how Alcohol can be a gas, why biofuels don’t steal food from hungry mouths, how we can grow our own fuel and other additional benefits after the jump. Continue reading ‘Notes from US Biofuels Expert David Blume – Growing Your Own Fuel’

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