|One of my plants|
So, initially we had two plants. Then I transplanted them close to our sidewalk, resulting in my neighbors dog to mistake these tiny plantlings for a tree. So, I had to transplant them AGAIN and this time my man thought I had killed any hopes for harvesting artichokes. These two guys looked sooo sad: their leaves were wilting and for weeks they looked just miserable.
Since we WANT artichokes, I seeded a few more and another 4 seedlings emerged, who I planted alongside the other dead-thought-ones.
So we kept caring for the first ones, they eventually started to look better and when we returned from our trip to Utah, one of my first chokes was sporting a flower bud. YES!!!
It is the flower bud that we are eating in artichokes. Once the flower starts blooming (a beautiful blueish thistle), it becomes inedible.
|Ready to pick|
So, every day, we have been checking on them and TODAY I thought, it was time for artichoke appetizer!
Cut them about 2-3 inches below the bud.
How do we eat them?
We boil them in a pot with about 3 inches of water for 25-40 minutes. When you can pull one of the middle pedals out, they are done.
While they are boiling, I prepare the dip: Melted butter with lemon juice, pepper and salt.
|See the two sideshoot buds. Yum on the way.|
Harvesting time for artichokes is from late July until frost. The centre one is typically the biggest one and the sideshoot buds are called 'baby artichokes'. Pretty misleading, huh? I always thought that they harvest them prematurely but it is simply the next 'generation' of buds.
More on Artichokes http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/HG-2003-03.pdf
"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis