Time and Temp


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• African daisies
• California Poppy
• Calendula
• Calla Lily
• Narcissus
• Lavander
• Ivy geranium
• Mexican Sage
• Pride of Madera
• Lantana
• Society garlic
• Wild geranium


• Baby arugula
• Onion and garlic greens
• Thyme
• Rhubarb
• Parsley
• Strawberries


Growing, Harvesting, and Cooking Artichokes

Artichokes growing six feet high in front of chicken coop.

Artichokes growing six feet high in front of chicken coop.

It looks like a bumper crop for artichokes along the coast. Artichokes grow well in our coastal environment with just a little bit of supplemental water. Then again, I’ve seen them grow in inland vacant lots with no water at all. Artichokes are a striking perennial plant that provides produce for the table.

Globe artichokes (Cynara scolymus) are thistle-like plants with deeply lobed silvery blue-green leaves, and bear edible buds (about 3-5 inches). They are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region where they grow wild. The plant typically grows to a height of 5 feet and blooms prolifically in good garden soil.

Artichokes soaking in salted water before rinsing.

Artichokes soaking in salted water before rinsing.

Artichoke flower buds are covered with scales and have a fleshy base, known as the “heart”, and a mass of immature florets in the center called the “choke”. These become inedible as the flower matures. If the bud is leftto bloom, it opens to a lovely thistle-like purple flower so don’t feel guilty if you don’t have a yearning for artichokes for dinner.

To grow artichokes, buy rootstock, divide roots, or start new plants from seed. Add plenty of organic matter and slow-release fertilizer to the soil when planting. Provide supplementary water to the soil during the dry season.

Cut off dead leaves with a lopper as they appear at the bottom to prevent damage to developing shoots. When the main stalk has finished producing, cut the plant to the ground, let it rest a few weeks, and then begin watering again. You’ll soon have another beautiful plant that produces unique and unusual vegetable for your dining table.

Small artichokes with leaves cut. Ready to cook.

Small artichokes with leaves cut. Ready to cook.

Cooking Artichokes

  • Harvest artichokes by cutting off artichokes below the unopened bloom. Timing is everything. Harvest before the scales are open.
  • Put artichokes in a pot of salted water in the sink. Any bugs between the scales will crawl out. Soak for about an hour and then rinse and drain.
  • Artichokes can be cooked in boiling water for about 45 min. to an hour or until tender. Serve on a plate with butter and garlic or mayonnaise.


Olive oil, garlic, and spices drizzled over artichokes before baking.

Olive oil, garlic, and spices drizzled over artichokes before baking.

Easy Way to Cook Small-sized Artichokes. Baking makes a delicious and pretty dish.

  • Harvest and soak in salted water for an hour. Rinse and drain.
  • Cut off ends of leaves. Cut the stem close to the bud.
  • In pan, cook 3 cloves chopped garlic in 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add Italian spice to taste. Stir.
  • Place prepared artichokes in a baking pan.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and spice.
  • Salt with sea salt to taste.
  • Put ½ cup water in bottom of baking pan.
  • Cover with aluminum foil. Take off foil for last 15 minutes
  • Bake at 350ª.

These can be served as a salad, side dish, or appetizer.

An artichoke ready to serve.

An artichoke ready to serve. Below, baking dish with small artichokes, drizzled with olive oil and garlic.

Small artichokes can be baked in baking pan.


2 comments to Growing, Harvesting, and Cooking Artichokes

  • Larry

    On 6/4 Ginger laid an egg at 5:11. She sat on the egg until 5:54. At 6:40 you picked up the egg. At 6:56 I saw a blue bird or blue jay checking out the nest box. Is it possible that this bird is breaking the egg and eating it. I also saw this bird in the coop about 10 minutes before the egg was laid. All times are Central time.

  • Lee

    Oh my gosh! So you never saw Ginger peck the egg? I started watching more carefully a couple weeks ago and I have never seen her peck an egg. And yes, I’ve seen the scrub jays in the coop too. We have also come to the conclusion that jays MAY be the culprit. My husband is out putting hardware wire over the the 2″ wire that surrounds the outdoor pen. The wild birds are becoming pests, eating chicken food all day long and now may be eating eggs. Thanks for verifying our suspicions. We’ll only know for sure if the we can exclude the jays!! If we had built the outdoor cope with hardware wire in the first place, we wouldn’t be having this problem.

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