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Artichokes: delicious, easy to grow flowers

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

One of the easiest plants I have found to grow from seed is Artichokes. Keeping them alive for 2 years before they flower is the challenging part!

Slugs and snails have attacked them several times and butterflies laid their eggs in one and the caterpillars ate their way through the leaves. Unfortunately, that one didn’t survive but I always allow for a sacrifice to nature when it comes to growing. Out of the 6 I grew in 2021, 3 plants survived to be planted in open soil. Strong enough now to withstand the “drought” we had in June, a very wet July and now August and the upcoming winter.

Artichokes are biannuals so set their flowers in their second year. These 3 gallant survivors have set a few flowers which has been exciting.

artichoke grown by Erica from Sōlseed / solseed

Left to flower, bumblebees and beetles engorge themselves on the pollen and sometimes fall asleep on the soft purple bed of stamen.

Artichokes are the oldest cultivated edible flower and come from the Mediterranean.

Delicacies in France and Italy, these flowers are not just delicious but incredibly healthy and have been used medicinally for centuries.

Cynara cardunculus, Artichoke extract may protect your liver from damage and promote the growth of new tissue. It also increases the production of bile, which helps remove harmful toxins from your liver.

Artichoke leaf extract may maintain digestive health by boosting friendly gut bacteria and alleviating symptoms of indigestion.

Artichoke extract may reduce triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol, which could support heart health. Artichoke extract may also help lower blood pressure in people with already elevated levels.

They are low in fat and high in fibre and are one of the most decadent meals. There is simply no flavour like freshly cooked artichoke heart.

Simply steam/boil till the heart is soft and then peel away each petal of the thistle-type petals dipping the fleshy bit in garlic or lemon butter and scraping it with one’s teeth. Repeat with all the petals till one gets to the heart. A curved-like dish that is completely delectable in texture and flavour.

Beautiful artichokes grown in Cornwall, U.K.

Many thanks to Growing Links for adding an artichoke to my veg bag this season. I was also gifted a few others from a different garden. Many thanks to Trevelayan Organic Farm for the fresh spring garlic to make my meal unquestionably delicious.

If you have the space in your garden I would definitely think of growing artichokes and in time we hope to add Artichoke seeds to the Sōlseed range of seed packets.

delicious artichoke soup made at home

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