Sunchokes, formerly known as Jerusalem Artichokes, are a native wildflower with an edible tuber similar to a potato (also known as Canada potato!).
A note on eating them for the first time from the book The Mini Farming Guide To Vegetable Farming: self-sufficiency from Asparagus to Zucchini by Brett L. Markham: “Sunchokes are an indigenous root vegetable that is high in an indigestible starch called inulin. You’ll find special pastas for diabetics made using inulin in some stores.
If you have never eaten them before, just eat a little bit the first few times because your large intestine likely lacks sufficient numbers of the bacteria needed to process inulin. This lack of bacteria will cause diarrhea. If you eat a little at a time and build up to it, you’ll soon find that you can pack away a whole plate of these delicious roots without any trouble at all.”
You can eat them any way you eat potatoes – roasted, fried, or in soups. They are also tasty raw. Experiment! If properly kept they will last until the Spring.
This website has a large variety of recipes to get you started – http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blv71.htm
You can also try planting a tuber a two for a very quick growing large flower that can withstand everything this climate has to throw at it.
We easily harvested 2 buckets of Sunchokes in 15 minutes from a small area. This red variety was taking over a new Pawpaw Tree.