Thursday, September 20, 2012


I didn't think it was possible to grow artichokes in the Pacific Northwest. There's always the threat of summer never arriving. The weather gets warm but just not enough for ripe tomatoes, eggplant, etc, etc. Why would I want to grow artichokes if all I'll get is a spiky bunch of leaves? And a marginally hardy bunch of leaves that may end up dying.

I'm always up for a challenge so this year I thought, "Why not?" I was able to get some Imperial Star plants going from Territorial Seed. I chose Imperial Star since most likely won't be able to overwinter artichokes here and will end up growing them as an annual. I always have more starts than I know what to do with and shared some with friends. I was shocked while at their house a few weeks later. They already had an artichoke. What?! How did they do that?! Will my little bunches of leaves ever amount to anything?

Let's just say I was a little green with envy...

I kept checking my plants doing well in the ground but not exactly showing any signs of promise. Not one hint of a little green globe of goodness. Two things that were growing: my envy and curiosity. I know it's silly, but I couldn't shake it. So I finally asked how was it that they already had an artichoke so soon?

"That plant is pretty old. It's not from the starts you gave us."

Oh what a relief! And so I've gone about my business in the garden, harvesting red ripe and yellow tomatoes, making sure everything is staying relatively happy with the lack of rain. Until I was walking up to my house a couple of weeks ago, and something caught my eye...

...a little green globe of goodness!

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