An Artichoke in Bloom

Family Gardens
Something the pandemic has done is it has forced people to stay home and so stay in a relatively local area. One result for me, and for quite a few others according to garden centers around these parts anyway, is that many people took up gardening. My little pandemic project was to expand from my 4x4 foot squares scattered around our property, to also having a 20x20 foot “pandemic garden”. I tilled part of our lawn with a nice sunny exposure, and planted beans, tomatoes, corn, carrots, beets and a variety of squash – including 4 zucchini plants – which was as it turned out 3 too many!
But one crop I always grow is artichokes. Not even native to North America, let alone Nova Scotia, I normally grow artichokes in pots on the doorstep – which I did again this year. But I also put four plants in the 20x20 foot garden – and they have loved it. I don’t know if it’s the heat and fog, which is what they get in California where they’re grown commercially, and much like in southern Europe, where they’re a native crop, or what it was, but this year we’ve had a bumper crop!
Artichokes are a member of the thistle family, and so when one sees one mature, it becomes the tight bud that we eat, but if you let one grow, you get a gorgeous flower – and that’s what this week’s image is – a mature artichoke bloom!
Eating local is a wonderful thing that the pandemic may re-teach us. But it doesn’t mean we can’t eat some things that aren’t normally grown here. And that’s part of the gardening fun – what can you grow where you are?