Artichokes & Tomatillos – in the U.P.

I have been growing Artichokes this year. I love artichokes – especially whole ones steamed/boiled with Italian dressing,  where you pull off the leaves and dip them in butter. Yum. I tried to grow them several years ago living in L.A., but with my work schedule they didn’t get watered enough and they didn’t do so well.  I’d read that they can grow as annuals in northern climates, so I planted 9 plants.  Two have produced fruit! (Actually a thistle, not a fruit). They are pretty small, but I’m still very excited.

Here's the nicest one of my two that I've gotten.
Here’s the nicest one of my two that I’ve gotten. You can see how small it is – my hands are not very big either.
Here's the second artichoke - it's a little skinny but still will be delicious.
Here’s the second artichoke – it’s a little skinny but still will be delicious.

I noticed that one of my plants is now growing another thistle off the stem where one of the above fruits was cut off.

I think one reason that only two of my nine plants produced fruit was that they ended up getting overcrowded by my nearby tomatillo plants.  The tomatillo plants are very large and leggy, almost growing like an indeterminant tomato plant.   My tomatillos got fruit this year also.  Last year I planted some  very late in the year, and didn’t get any fruits.  This year I got them in early and I have a decent sized crop – some of them are a little small, but they were ready to pick.  Here they are in a pot boiling up for Salsa Verde:

Tomatillos in a big soup pot - getting ready to be made into Salsa Verde.
Tomatillos in a big soup pot – getting ready to be made into Salsa Verde.

I will definitely be growing more artichokes next year (and giving them more space), and more tomatillos.

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