This is a blog post on growing and harvesting globe artichoke. Globe artichokes are very easy to grow. They are a perennial vegetable that is hardy to frost. They grow like weeds in the warm, sunny Mediterranean climate. Therefore, you see a lot of artichokes on the restaurant’s menu. While they may not be everyone’s favourite vegetable, artichokes heart cured in brine is much more palatable.
The bud of the globe artichoke is edible before it blooms into a flower. Another variety of globe artichoke is called cardoon.
Growing and harvesting globe artichoke
It is possible to grow globe artichoke from seed bought from garden seed supplies. They are very easy to germinate. However, one needs to wait for a year before any sign of bud forming on the plant. Some garden centres sell one-year-old bare roots in spring or autumn. Personally, I have not tried growing from bare roots but from seed.
Sow the seed in spring under cover. Plant out when the risk of frost has passed in a good drain manure compost. They love a sunny spot as well. Once they mature they grow quite tall about 1.5 meters tall with broad leaves. Spread them apart once they start to establish to give them room to grow.
They relatively disease free unlike growing broad beans and don’t need much care. Come summer the following year small buds will form on the plant. Give time to mature but not till it starts flowering. Once it’s mature cut off at the bottom of the bud.
On the first year, there won’t be too many buds. However, once the plant is established the following year it produces more buds.
As artichoke originates from the Mediterranean many artichoke recipes are based around its origin. To cook them just steam the artichoke till it’s cook. Then tear the outer sleeves and dip the tender part in mayonnaise or aioli. The tender part of the artichoke which is the core (heart) can be stuffed with cheese or some eat them raw. Brine artichoke hearts are used as a pizza topping, serve as a starter or in salads.