Saturday, September 27, 2014

of sunflowers and sunchokes

I am going to include both sunflowers and sunchokes or Jerusalem Artichokes since they are both related.
Sunflower seeds pack around 818 calories per cup of seeds.
Jerusalem Artichokes clock in at about 109 calories per cup of roots.
The sunflowers grown for edible seeds are annuals but there are perennial sunflowers. In fact there is research being conducted to produce a perennial sunflower with harvestable seeds. Now Jerusalem Artichokes are generally perennials. However, to keep up bulb production they need to be harvested at least every three years. With both sunflowers and Jerusalem Artichokes the entire plant is edible. An interesting point of Jerusalem Artichokes is that the plant retains the sugars in the stalk till around flowering time. You would have to test your plants based on your plants cycle. But it presents an opportunity to harvest the stalks as silage like sorghum if the variety you have has high enough sugar content. With sunflowers grown for seed there are two major types. There are the oil seed sunflowers which are high in oils. Then there are the seed sunflowers that are eaten for their seeds.
One interesting note that I came across but have not tried it that sunchokes do not store their sugars into the tubers until late in the season. From the data I have obtained here and there it seems that sunchokes are late flowering. You may wish to experiment with harvesting upper part of stalks at flowering stage and fermenting the shredded and boiled stems and leaves. Cutting the top part will not kill the sunchokes but will result in smaller tubers.

Sunflowers and Sunchokes for goats.

Every goatkeeper should plant lots of sunflowers, for they are the finest of feeds available. The entire plant—leaves, seeds and stalk—is edible and greatly relished. While the seeds are well-liked, goats will hungrily gobble up the entire seed head when the seeds are at the early "dough" stage. Just break or cut the head into pieces and the goats will fight for them. The stalk too, will be devoured if cut into pieces. Sunflower seeds are eaten any time of the year. Room can be made for sunflowers, even in a small garden, by using them as stakes. Place one sunflower seed on either side of your tomato plants when setting them out. As the stalks grow, feed the leaves to the goats and use that strong stalk for staking your tomato plants. Sunflowers are extremely rich in phosphorus and have large amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamins A, D, and E, lecithin and are over 25% protein. Sunflower seeds contain a staggering 7.1 mg of vitamin E per 100gm of seed, as well as vitamins B1, B3, and B6.

Sunflowers and sunchokes as silage.

Sunflower silage vs. Corn Silage for Milk Production - April 1926

Sunflowers to remove metals from water.


Use of plants to treat water contaminated with Cs and Sr in the Ukraine.

Let the pigs harvest your Jerusalem Artichokes

Feeding Sunflowers to livestock

Feeding sunchokes to livestock

Pressing oil seed sunflowers

You can press whole seed, shell and all when using oil seed sunflowers.

The Sunflower Seed Huller and Oil Press

Sprouting sunflower seeds

How to Grow Sunflower Seed Sprouts
How To Grow Sunflower Sprouts - Planting to Harvest (edited)
Growing Barley Fodder with a 5 gallon bucket. Simple Fodder System (can also be used for sunflower seeds)

Sunflower stalks for  bio-gas and fuel

Another Substitute for Firewood - Sunflower Stalks
Sunflower stalks were burned for fuel on the parries in the sod cabins before railroads brought coal.

Sunflower stalks for garden poles

Recycling last year’s sunflower stalks for bean & pea poles.

Sunflower as a herbicide

Allelopathic potential of Helianthus annuus L. (sunflower) as natural herbicide
We have focused on the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and phytohormons (ABA and ethylene) in the biochemical and molecular regulation of plant response to sunflower phytotoxins.
Induction of oxidative stress by sunflower phytotoxins in germinating mustard seeds.

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