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back yard artichoke

Well. Not to go all Pollyanna on your asses, but it would seem every variation in weather is ideal condition for something and our shit Winter has had some interesting side effects. Everyone’s roses are spectacular this year (we have…eight, I think). A whole patch of opium poppies have sprung up were they were not deliberately planted (it is legal to grow somniferum in the garden here, but not to harvest). The elder flower was especially impressive all over the county (meaning mucho elderberries in the Fall).

And this guy, my back yard artichoke. Made it through the Winter and is busy growing three heads (as you do). This sucker was at the optimum harvesting age, before the thistle begins to open. Not the biggest ‘choke ever, but sweet and tender.

The perks of marrying a gardener who likes a challenge.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 9, 2013, 10:01 pm

Wanna Easter egg? Go to Vogue. Type in:

up-arrow up-arrow 
down-arrow down-arrow 
left-arrow right-arrow
left-arrow right-arrow 
b a

It’s a different hat every time.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 9, 2013, 10:18 pm

Hey, I’m a-gonna check out Vogue in a min!

Ah, artichokes! Last fall I moved from California to Florida and am delighted to have done so – except that I used to live about 30 minutes up from Castroville, the self-proclaimed Artichoke Capital of the World (or Western Hemisphere, or California) and with some justification. I could even find baby artichokes, I mean the really small ones that when deep fried whole are the best thing IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 9, 2013, 10:41 pm

Artichokes (like lobster) are just a license to eat unlimited amount of melted butter.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: July 9, 2013, 10:41 pm

I get no hat.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 9, 2013, 11:19 pm

You sure you haven’t been at those poppies, Weasel?

Badget don’t get no hats, neither.

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 9, 2013, 11:25 pm

Melted butter? I thought you were supposed to drag them through homemade mayonnaise?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 9, 2013, 11:26 pm

I got hats. On dinosaurs, yet!

If you have anything like ScriptSafe, or NoScript, etc., you may have to disable it. Also, it seems to take a few minutes to “reset” before you can do the trick again.

Comment from Frit
Time: July 9, 2013, 11:33 pm

I adore artichokes! When I lived in the foothills of Northern CA, one of my housemates was familiar with gardening and grew several thorn-less artichokes for us to indulge in. Nummy!

Now I just need to find a source for same here in Oz, so I can grow my own. (So far, I’ve only found the thorny variety. Still good, but with the thorn-less, one does not need to be extra careful with harvesting and eating, and the prickly center isn’t, so can be eaten whole, without all that scraping out of the center spines! 🙂 )

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 10, 2013, 12:08 am

@Deborah – Melted butter is good. Mayo is good. But the main advantages of artichokes are that they (a) are delicious per se, (b) give the perfect excuse to indulge your every lipid craving in the forms of sauces and dipping juices, and (c) are wonderfully flexible and can be incorporated into many interesting dishes even though not the primary ingredient.

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 10, 2013, 12:33 am

That’s a beautiful artichoke, Stoaty. My family has never grown them, but I suspect they won’t grow well on rock. My mother loved them, and practically bought them by the boxcar.

Today I had a coronary calcium scan, so I suspect my days of dragging anything through melted butter or mayo are at an end. Sigh.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: July 10, 2013, 12:34 am

Two observations –

1) The first human to try and eat an artichoke was one hungry sumbitch.

B) Anything but gobs of mayo on ‘chokes and asparagus is just….wrong.

Comment from Nina
Time: July 10, 2013, 4:12 am

I like my artichoke sans dipping, just plain artichoke. Mmmmmmm…

If I had room for a garden I’d plant some, and I’d feed them sumptuously so they would feed me sumptuously. I’d also have one nice square raised bed of asparagus, not because I like asparagus, but because friends would rather get excess asparagus than excess zucchini, and I’m not above bribing friends.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: July 10, 2013, 5:55 am

May I express my envy? Better than a mile above sea level, in what is technically called Alpine Desert is not conducive to artichokes. And while I admit the merits of melted butter and home made mayo; I tend towards blue cheese dressing with lots of chunks of powerfully strong blue cheese. Mind, blue cheese is also its own excuse, and I also envy your access to Stilton.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from EZnSF
Time: July 10, 2013, 6:07 am

Are you kidding? Artichoke and Mayo? A family favorite in any form. Throw in the creamed and sour cheese? Bliss. The second coming. Nirvana. World peace through satiationism!

Paula Deen’s recipe for Artichoke Dip.
DayamYum Yum Yum.


Comment from steve
Time: July 10, 2013, 11:52 am

It mighta choked Artie, but it ain’t gonna choke Stymie.

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 10, 2013, 1:15 pm

Oh for fresh asparagus, or garden-fresh anything. I DID plant cherry tomatoes—in big pots on my deck. Two of them began to die the day I transplanted them, but the other two are going great. Darling clusters of tomatoes about one inch in diameter, and delicious—and more orangy than red. I could have bought gold for what these tomatoes will end up costing, since I had to buy dirt too, but I just had to plant something.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: July 10, 2013, 2:46 pm

My mom grew artichokes one year, they were small so kind of a pain to cook, but good. This is a good growing year here in Oregon too, lots of sun and rain.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 10, 2013, 4:29 pm

For the record, the biggest artichoke I’ve ever seen was in Harrod’s food court and it was damn near the size of a basketball. I bought it, of course.

Comment from mojo
Time: July 10, 2013, 4:36 pm


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: July 10, 2013, 6:38 pm

I’ve taken to planting in those big laundry buckets you can get cheap detergent in from Costco. Drill a couple holes in the bottom, dump some rocks in the bottom then fill it with potting soil and plant a little seedling in the center. Scatter a layer of barkdust on the top and put the bucket on top of a couple sticks to raise it up for drainage.

Done this two years now, it works great for just about any kind of plant although you’ll need a cage to help support something like tomatoes or zucchini. Just keep in mind the limited soil means they need more watering; once a day at least on hot days.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: July 10, 2013, 10:12 pm

No Ketchup and Velveeta?———————————— ———————————> runs away

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