This Saturday we will be starting the first seedlings of the season….Artichokes! An Artichoke is actually a thistle and the part we eat is the bud before it flowers. These plants will have a long way to go before hitting anyone’s dinner table. Although they are the first plants started every year these artichokes won’t be harvested until late August into September.
We have to trick these plants into thinking they have gone through summer and winter then summer again before they will produce any buds. These plants are kept in a warm “summer” environment until temperatures are 25°F during the night. Then they are planted outside for their first “winter”.
When temperature warm with the spring and into the summer these artichokes think they are already a year old and start forming their buds.
Before the buds mature we cut them from the plant and enjoy!
Don’t be scared off by the look of this delicious bud. Artichokes are high in fiber and low in calories and fat. They are a great source of folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B-complex vitamins and essential minerals. Once you know how to cook these gems you will want to eat them all the time.
Here is an graphic on how to cook an Artichoke by Heather Diane from illustrated bites.
Once all the leaves are finished what is left is the Artichoke heart which is also edible!