Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ah, Artichoke

      The primary stem artichoke was starting to open just a bit.  I think that means it was starting to develop to the flowering stage, and away from the eating stage.  Nope, not on my watch.

My First Artichoke!     5/18/2012
      So I cut the choke off, and took him for a ride.  We steamed him for dinner, and with melted butter for dipping, he sure was good.  I hope the three remaining chokes will grow to at least this size.
      When I harvested the choke, I took a lot of stem.  Hoping the middle of the stem would have edible flesh like marrow in a bone.  And it looked exactly like that from the cross section of the stem.  And indeed was edible, with an even stronger flavor than the leaf petals.  Future harvests will include the stem pieces.
      There were quite a few sugar ants on the choke when I harvested it.  They were farming some colonies of aphids living under the lowermost petals.  The ants feed on the waste "honeydew" that the aphids produce.  In return, the ants protect the aphids from predators.  In some cases, the ants carry the aphid eggs back to the ant colony for winter storage, then return the eggs to proper plants in the spring.  Thus increasing George's chances of having aphids.  But overall, mostly harmless and totally organic.  Removal of the worthless little bottom petals took care of both sets of critters.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! Happy Day! Hope you get to enjoy more of your tasty artichokes very soon!