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When to Harvest Artichokes? The Best Time

When to harvest artichokes

The artichokes go by many names, such as globe artichoke, green artichoke, or French artichoke. They are a sort of flowering plants that can be utilized for eating but many people don’t know when to harvest artichokes.

Artichokes tend to grow big, from around 4 feet and 6 inches to 6 feet and 6 inches tall (1.4 meters to 2 meters), with leaves’ length from 19.7 to 32.7 inches (or 50 to 83 cm).

Regarding the etymology of the word “artichoke”, it was borrowed into the English language, descending from the Italian word “articiocco” around five hundred years ago.

In the following text, we will provide you with some crucial information regarding the artichokes, such as their lifespan, form, length, and their uses for mankind, mainly as a choice of food.

Most importantly, in this article, we are going to explore, provide the reader with facts, and find out the answer to the question – When to harvest artichokes?

Many people are put off with growing some artichoke for culinary purposes because they are intimidated by its thistles. However, as the saying goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, and this applies also to artichokes. Certainly, the thistles can be a nuisance, but don’t let it get to you as even the Greeks and the Romans have been eating this plant for thousands of years! This certainly is some sort of a gourmet plant that our ancestors have been fond of.

In this day and age, this plant is grown in different countries such as the United States, France, Italy, and Spain. They are mostly used in European cuisines which are by the way nothing new to them and so they are an expert on preparing this plant. However, in the United States, where the plant is even not that popular, so for novices this plant can be intimidating to prepare for cooking. Though this plant is not popular in the United States, you can grow it anywhere in the zones within the United States.

In culinary terms, the artichoke is considered a vegetable, and this plant is harvested before it even blooms. This plant can be quite challenging to prepare, and you will need to exert some effort to get to its edible parts. If you are a novice yourself on this plant, you don’t have to worry about this as we will teach you on this guide on how to prepare the artichoke.

It is worth the trouble? This thought might pop up in your thought as seeing this plant is challenging to work it. I assure you that this worth all the trouble, and as I previously mentioned there must be a good reason as to why the Romans and the Greeks were eating it. The challenging part is always at the beginning, so once you get the hang of it the task is actually quite simple.

Since we will trouble ourselves with preparing this plant, the taste must be worth it! The taste of the artichoke will certainly wet your pallet, plus this plant can be cooked in several ways. You can cook it by steaming, boiling, baking, or grilling. This plant has a nutty flavor, while others describe it as reminiscent of fried egg whites, but this largely depends on how you cook it. When boiled, the taste of the artichoke can be somewhere in between celery and asparagus. While on the other hand, when fried, the taste can is also reminiscent of fried asparagus.

The artichokes live around five years, on average. When one year has passed, the flowers start creating the stems. When the flower is mature, it will create about ten stems for every season, and after that, the stem will create around five plumules.

After the buds are starting to take their form, the plants should be checked daily, so that the buds can be cut and prevented from opening. Those buds that would be opened will look straggly, fibrous, and rotten. 

During the end of the spring season, the flower would create some other buds. The buds stationed lower on the stem will start to mature, following the example of the buds on the tops of the stems. However, the plumule that is on the peak will always remain the biggest one of them all. Artichokes flourish during colder summer, since the flower can not stand too much hot weather, and the buds are developing much sooner than they should.

The ideal time to harvest artichokes is at the moment when buds are sized around 8 cm or 3 inches, and they look compact. The plumules shall be harvested before the petals start opening because otherwise, the petals won’t be good any longer after the plumules are opened. 

How to Cook Artichokes?

Cooking artichokes is, relatively speaking, an easy task to perform. You only have to boil or steam these vegetables in order to dull the heart and their shielding outer leaves. 

Artichokes are perennial, enduring vegetables and they belong to the group of sunflowers. They are rich with valuable nutritional advantages, which are vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, iron, potassium, folate, and calcium. 

If you are willing to prepare an entire artichoke, you need to slash and snip the sheltering outer leaves. In order to uncover the inside of the artichoke, you will have to slash the rows from the top. 

It’s advisable to utilize some bigger scissors, like shears, so that you may snip the ends of every leaf. You don’t have to worry about the meat that can be eaten since it can be found at the lowest point of the leaves, so it means that you are not cutting it loose when you are cutting from above. You shall chop the stalk from the bottom, and then it can stand vertically, ready to be served. On the other hand, even the stalk can be suitable for eating if you remove the fibrous external sheet. 

Now, let’s go on with some artichoke recipes.

How to Prepare Boiled Artichokes?

Usually, you will need from twenty to thirty-five minutes to prepare artichokes.

After you are done with the process we described above, you can prepare boiled artichokes in the following manner. 

Carry a vessel contained with salted water to boil. After that, put the artichokes in the water, tone down the heat to a level of simmer, and cover. Diligently bring the boiled artichoke into a dish, and pull one of the bigger external leaves: If you do not have difficulties pulling it, then it is prepared. If, on the other hand, you are struggling, put it back inside the water and let it that way until ready. When it is done, dry them gently, and afterward, they are ready to be served. 

How to Harvest Artichoke Hearts?

When you are done with removing all of the leaves, you can easily spot the artichoke heart inside the core. The top of it shall not be eaten and it should be removed. If you were cooking the artichokes previously, the heart will be ready for eating at the moment. The artichoke’s hearts can be utilized in different combinations and can be served as an inclusion to pizza or salad.  

When to Harvest Artichokes in Arizona?

When it comes to harvesting, the timing is of crucial essence. 

In Arizona, there is a diversity of artichokes, for example, Purple Italian Globe, and the Green Globe. They are suited well for the summerly climate that rules in there. 

You should plant the seeds during the month of November. After that, let them develop through all of the winter.

Another option is to do it towards the end of January and let them develop till March. They will start creating their bulbs around April and May. 

Conclusion to When to Harvest Artichokes

Artichokes are wonderful gifts from nature and we, as people, should be grateful for this gift.

They are edible, meaning they can be used as a food, and also as an ingredient in addition to other foods.

We want to believe that in this article, you found much useful information about artichokes in general. Our goal was to provide the reader with facts that can be used and implemented in practice. 

Everything about the artichokes in this text is very important to know. Their sorts, the etymology of the word, as well as their natural characteristics, such as length and size.

Most importantly, we covered the area of them being edible, and we explained how to be prepared for eating and how to harvest their heart.

Of course, our main goal was to give an answer to the question – when to harvest artichokes, and we believe we did the job very well, not only giving a generally accepted view on this matter but also explained to the reader, specifically, when to harvest artichokes in Arizona. 

Hopefully, all of your questions regarding artichoke have been answered in this article, but if you have any more thoughts on this topic or some more questions feel free to share them! Simply comment below. 

We also offer some other guides that you might find useful such as How to Grow Wheat and  How To Grow Water Chestnuts.

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