Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I planted artichokes in the raised beds of the Three Sisters Garden in 2012. They produced well. I picked the blooms and ate artichokes until I got tired of them and let their flowers run their course.

Artichokes are related to the thistle plant. If you let them go to seed, they make spectacular purple flowers that eventually dry out. This triggers the plant to go dormant and die back.

They are perennials, which means they will return year after year, sprouting back up like a Phoenix rising from its ashes.

My artichokes have been very low maintenance. I've even stopped watering them altogether. They are growing in a raised bed fertilized with composted cow manure and shaded by Canary Island date palms and wild amaranth when in season.

I went through last week and cut all the dead from the plants, discovering new growth beneath. All of the plants had flowers still attached and I sat and picked out the seeds, pictured below. Come spring, I'll drop them in the soil and hopefully have many more artichoke plants in the future.

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