Bring me MORE ARTICHOKES!

Gettin' steamy!

Gettin’ steamy!

Things are moving fast this year – I was surprised to find a bunch of artichokes in my yard the other day.

There's one.

There’s one.

And another.

And another.

Keep digging.

Keep digging.

We’ve been eating them for dinner every night, and intend to do so until they are all gone. They aren’t big – exactly the right size for one person. And sooooo goooood!  I might get bigger ones if I put them on a dripline instead of hand watering them when I notice them drooping, but who has time for everything?

Of course, all around my house, my neighbors are growing them as ornamentals. What’s with that? I mean, full size eating artichokes, just sitting in their yard, bolting! One neighbor uses them as an exterior fence – I watch the neighborhood dogs pee on them, then I watch them go to flower, wondering, “what do these people eat?” 

There is an ornamental variety, I have those too. The fruit are so small and “horny” – they look like those old fashioned weapons, a mace.  I have never tried to eat them. I keep them in the front yard, where they get about 10 feet tall, producing a half dozen or more spectacular purple flowers per plant. I like them because they look so exotic, and they take up a lot of space where annoying stickers would grown. They also grow with little or no attention and very little water. I’ll try to get some of those when they come out.

Look at this lettuce patch – can you believe we get our dinner salad out of this bed almost every day?

I pick lettuce from this bed almost every day, it's amazing how fast it grows. Next year I'll fill the whole bed, this was a half-assed project.

I pick lettuce from this bed almost every day, it’s amazing how fast it grows. Next year I’ll fill the whole bed, this was just a last-minute, half-ass project. I had seeded the cilantro in the bed, but it wasn’t growing, so I put it in pots and it’s taking off.

Gardening is hard for me, I always have a lot of things going on at once, nothing ever goes perfect. I’m always amazed when something turns out at all. I’m so happy with my lettuce – it’s not as hard as I thought. I got sick of buying it at the store, paying a lot for an inferior product. Next fall I’ll start my aeroponic set-up early in my greenhouse, then I’ll plant a crop in my garden early in Spring. I’ll keep you posted.

This year a lot of our drip equipment was shot, needed replacing, so we went out to OSH to buy some odds and ends. We were driving home through the avenues when we saw this old wooden bench, sitting in the median in front of somebody’s house with a “FREE” sign. There’s a word that sticks out in NEON. We made a quick U-turn and nailed it. Here it sits in our garden, where my husband has just moved the old wire fence out and tilled a new section for more artichokes.

A garden bench - who says we ain't got class?

A garden bench – who says we ain’t got class?

Sure, it’s rickety, but so am I. We were just sitting down to enjoy a beer when things started to get exciting.

Suddenly the sky clouded over and started to look angry.

Suddenly the sky clouded over and started to look angry.

The big cloud moved across the sky like a big ship, and then we started hearing the cannon fire.

The big cloud moved across the sky like a ship, and then we started hearing the cannon fire.  The wind picked up, and we could feel little rain drops pelt our faces.

And  then, ka-POW!

And then, ka-POW!

We sat on our rickety bench and watched the storm unfurl around our heads. I tried to get a picture with lightening – no luck. 

It was a beautiful storm.

It was a beautiful storm.

This was the biggest storm I remember for a long time. I don’t remember seeing so many clear bolts – the sky didn’t just light up, there were bright electric charges running all the way across the sky, like cracks in glass. 

I wish I had video - the huge oaks around our yard were doing the hoochie-coochie.

I wish I had video – the huge oaks around our yard were doing the hoochie-coochie.

When it really started ripping loose, we went to the patio. What a dumper! I think it went on for a good 40 minutes, then all the sudden, CALM. The eaves are still dripping this morning. 

At last, time to open the windows!

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Bring me MORE ARTICHOKES!

  1. AWESOME POST! I have not tried growing artichokes, or even eaten them. I have seen photos of them and always wanted to try the but just never did. That is a really neat old bench. I can’t blame you for picking it up, who wouldn’t have done the same? I used to watch storms on the front porch of the mansion in Mississippi. Lightening can be so interesting for sure. Now dad and I watch them on the back porch here. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you!

      when I was a kid, I will admit, I looked at artichokes as a spoon for mayonnaise. As an adult I learned to appreciate the taste, but it was when we started growing our own that I really became a fan.

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