Tag Archives: artichoke

Artichokes

Good news ‘choke fans, artichoke season is upon us. These edible buds are grown as perennials in our mild winter garden zone which means for those of us with year-round school gardens the time to enjoy them is now.

artihoke01
Artichokes should be picked while the buds are still tight. The edible parts consist primarily of the fleshy lower portion of the bracts as well as the base, which is known as the “heart.” The immature florets in the center of the bud are inedible in older larger flowers and are usually removed.

See this video on how to clean artichokes for boiling and be sure to visit the California Artichoke Advisory Board (CAAB) for artichoke and artichoke dip recipes.

One note of caution, artichokes, being a member of the thistle family, have outer leaves that can develop into sharp points, gloves are recommend for harvesting.

artichoke_flower

Lastly, consider allowing one or two buds to open, flower, and go to seed. The purple florets are a treat for the eyes and the feeling of running your fingers over them is a wondrous joy to the sense of touch.

Video – Saving Seeds

End of summer also means end of the cycle. Plants have flowered, fruited and are putting out seeds to ensure their survival. Students returning at the start of the new term should be on the lookout for seed-bearing fruits and dried flower heads.