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Entries in artichokes (2)

Tuesday
May212019

In My Garden: Artichokes!

In 2014, I had some extra space in my garden along the fence so I decided to try planting artichokes.  Artichokes are a perennial, like asparagus, that come up year after year once planted. Each year they sprout additional plants that can be transplanted to add to your collection, so don't buy too many to start with because over time you will have a good-sized crop. Also, the more heads you cut, the more heads the plants will produce, so don't be afraid to harvest your artichokes. Unfortunately this is not a drought-tolerant plant, you will need to water them at least once a week on the coast and probably more if you live inland where it's hotter.

The first year might be lean, but after five years I have a very good yield already. The artichoke plants have multiplied and the artichokes themselves have gotten much bigger. Some of the hearts are easily three inches in diameter! We steam about eight at a time, and have artichokes and a big green salad for dinner. They are very filling. They are also a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are high in antioxidants. 

The only downside to planting artichokes is that you won't enjoy the ones from the grocery store anymore, the flavors of artichokes fresh from the garden just can't be beat. 


Monday
Apr142014

In My Garden: Artichokes!

I had some extra space in my garden along the fence so I decided to try planting artichokes. I planted globe artichokes, they are quite common here in California and grow to be quite large. Artichokes are a perennial, like asparagus, that come up year after year once planted. Each year they sprout additional plants that can be transplanted to add to your collection, so don't buy too many to start with because over time you will have a good-sized crop. Also, the more heads you cut, the more heads the plants will produce, so don't be afraid to harvest your artichokes. The first year might be lean, but I am only in my second year and have a good yield already. Unfortunately this is not a drought-tolerant plant, you will need to water them at least twice a week on the coast and probably more if you live inland where it's hotter.

My plants are still fairly new so the artichokes are small. We enjoy the hearts the best, so we stripped off all the leaves and found the heart to be about the size of a half dollar in width and about 1" thick, pretty small for all the work we had to do to get to them. The good news is they will get larger in the next few years, up to about 5" in diameter. We boiled them in lightly-salted water for about 15 minutes. I have to tell you they were about the best tasting artichoke hearts I have ever eaten! They were rich and buttery with nutty undertones.

Keep in mind the hearts start turning brown as soon as the leaves are stripped and they get exposed to the air. So have a bowl of water with lemon juice in it nearby and as soon as the heart is cleaned, put it in the lemon water until cooking time.

The only downside to planting artichokes is that you won't enjoy the ones from the grocery store anymore, the flavors of artichokes fresh from the garden just can't be beat.