28 August 2009

Does Your Artie Choke?

082709Choke

My first attempt at growing artichokes has been fun, though not terribly productive. I harvested this one today, though, and found another small one growing on the same plant, so perhaps there will be more to come yet. I steamed this one (though they always seem to need more steaming than I manage to give them) and we had it with fresh melted garlic butter, which was absolutely teh nom. For next year, I definitely want to start them earlier and get them in the ground earlier, because they really are quite the fun treat to pull apart and eat.

The garden has been a bit of a mixed bag this year. I expect to get maybe enough scarlet runner beans to cook as part of one meal, but they've been fun to watch. There are a few pumpkins and winter squash, so that's not a total loss. The tomatoes were a sad, tragic loss (Curse you, Late Blight!). I'm still remaining hopeful that I'll get some butterpeas, but a somewhat late start coupled with the wettest summer on record means they're only just producing pods. And unless my crowder peas get really busy, they may not even make it that far. At least the garlic made me very happy, and I'm already planning for even more next year.

The other thing I'm planning, if I can find the time and energy, is to shift some of my raised beds around and rework my tiny front ledge. The neighbors across the street decided to put in a bright halogen driveway light about a year ago that they leave on pretty much all night long, and it drives David crazy. I'm not terribly thrilled about it myself, but I don't have the glare straining my eyes when I'm working at the computer, either. At any rate, I'm thinking to construct a woven lattice living fence of willow right where the hillside drops off, moving the flower beds away from the foundation, and then turning the current beds and measly strip of grass into vegetable beds.

We'll see how well I manage to make that happen.

10 comments:

Jean said...

Oh, Mel, artichokes! Can't you over-winter them, perhaps under straw? They're perennial (however you spell it). Worth a try, for the sake of next year's early start.

JoVE said...

I was going to suggest the same. We grew artichokes in England and I remember that we didn't even expect flowers in the first year. But I don't know how well they do in our winters here. Straw or even that fleece stuff you get for gardens might be a good option. (I know for Rose of Sharon, you make a kind of cone with fleece around it that will fill with snow to insulate hte plant.)

All this talk about blight is making me wonder about our own tomatoes. I just figured they were late. Mat is out there now building a poly-greenhouse over them to see if we can extend the season somewhat.

The pigs got all the cauliflower and some of the cabbage. They have now been banished.

Carol said...

Fresh-from-the-garden artichokes sound like teh nom indeed. I was thinking of you today as I got quizzical looks while doing my errands in my Chairman Tuck tee-shirt... (;

Ryan said...

If we could get together all the bloggers who had so-so gardens this year, can you imagine the feast we would have? It would be a little odd, one artichoke from here, six tomatoes from there, two beans from there but, collectively...

(Your security word for this email is "necon." Very high-tech sounding, no?)

Luuworld said...

wow- congratulations! artichokes are delicious. i can't even grow green beans! btw: like the new design on your blog :-)

goblinbox said...

Equal in yumminess to garlic butter is mayonnaise with soy sauce or shoyu as a dipping sauce for delish artichokes!

Lisa/knitnzu said...

Love the new format and especially the wooly headed banner! I thought one could only grow artichokes in California or therabouts. Way to go!!

We're getting decent green beans out of the garden, and the garlic was good. Couple of semi ripe tomatoes, but not much, overall a poor growing year for us too.

kmkat said...

I guess there is a reason that most commercial artichoke growers are in California, not Maine ;-) And aren't we all glad there are supermarkets to back up our sometimes less-that-stellar home yields? But still, y'all did good. I hope you can over-winter your 'choke plant and get a dynamite batch of 'chokes (and everything!) next year.

Bob & Phyllis said...

JoVE, you have to take special precautions for your rose of sharon? I'm in central Ohio, and the species here grows like a frickin' WEED in our yard. We have to severely cut it back so it doesn't take over.

Amazing.
Phyllis
:)

TheBunny said...

Ooo, I need details on how you are/will make the fence. That sounds lovely and I think a good solution for me too!