The tubers of this sunflower-like plant are far less highly esteemed than they should be in home gardens. The plants will thrive in any good soil without any cultivation. They need only be held within bounds. Each year they will reproduce from the small tubers left in the ground at digging. A plot to feet square will be sufficient for a winter’s supply for each member of the family, or at least one dish weekly between October and April. It is best that the tubers be allowed to remain in the ground and taken up with a pickax as needed. In order to make this work light, it is desirable that the soil be covered with straw so as to prevent deep freezing. The tubers are usually scalloped or boiled and served with cream sauce. They are particularly delicate and well worth the attention of every housewife. They must not be al-lowed to shrivel, as they lose their flavor in this treatment.
A writer in the American Agriculturist says that ” Tubers can be secured through any of the large seed houses in early spring. They may be planted in well-drained, light soils as soon as the ground can be worked. Even on poor, gravelly soils, they yield well. The drills should be 3 feet apart and the tubers dropped 18 to 24 inches asunder. Cultivation is the same as for potatoes, though the plants will succeed with less if the ground is free from weeds. When they shade the soil, they may be laid by. When grown for market they are harvested like potatoes, or left in the ground until needed. Frost does not injure, but improves them, they can be dug with a pickax in midwinter. Unless left in the ground or stored in pits or in sand in a root cellar, they shrivel and lose their quality. Properly grown they will yield 200 bushels of tubers or more to the acre. The White and the Red Brazilian generally yield the largest crops. The crop requires about five months to mature.”