Except, I had no clue what to do with it.
It's a rhizome, kinda looks like ginger root. Supposedly you can just crunch on it raw, or cook it up like pretty much any veggie. It kinda tastes like a very mild carrot, but is very crunchy with a texture like water chestnuts or jicama.
The BF eyed it suspiciously and wasn't very eager to have me experiment with using it in any of our usual dishes. So I wrapped it in a paper towel, put it in a plastic bag and set it on a shelf in the garage-- as per the "storage" directions that I'd come across online.
And forgot about it.
And then one day, we came across it again, only now it had two 6 inch green sprouts jutting out of it.
I will say-- if you are the type of person who has a "black thumb" and kills every plant you've ever had, try growing this stuff! You will feel awesome with your new-found gardening skills because it is impossible to not get this stuff to grow! And grow it did!
From what I've gathered, the stuff was cultivated in European nations and here in the States and was fairly common in our diet until around World War 2. It was one of the few vegetables that didn't get rationed during the war (probably because it's so freakin easy to grow) so it appears that an entire generation pretty much got its fill during those years and, after the war rationing ended, refused to every eat it again. Which is how a few more generations managed to grow up without ever hearing of the stuff.
It seems to be undergoing a resurgence in popularity now.
And so it grew in my garden. And grew...and grew.
The BF kept asking me what we were going to do with it and what it was supposed to do. I kept telling him "*!&@ if I know!" But the information I was able to find about it said that it would eventually flower and then die and then we could dig up the rhizomes and eat them. Which didn't seem like a very good idea seeing as how we hadn't been interested in eating the 5 or 6 pieces that I'd initially purchased at the Farmer's Market-- why were we interested in digging up a whole pot of them?
The plant flowered in September. It was kinda pretty in a very tall weed sorta way. But sure enough, as summer waned to fall, the foliage started to die back, the flowers wilted and dropped and last weekend we decided to cut the whole thing down and pull it up...