Wild Artichokes at our Farm

Artichokes, a member of the thistle family, are a unique and intriguing vegetable that often gets overlooked in the culinary world. With their distinct shape, thorny leaves, and hearty texture, artichokes offer a delightful flavor and a host of health benefits. On our farm, we’re very happy to have artichokes growing wild.

About the Plant

Artichokes are actually flower buds that are harvested before they fully bloom. They are native to the Mediterranean region and have been cultivated for centuries in countries like Italy, Spain, and Greece. Artichokes are usually grown for their edible flower buds, which are harvested before the flowers open. The plant stems are thick and fleshy, and the leaves are silvery-green in color with a long, arching shape.

Best Growing Conditions

Artichokes thrive in full sun and prefer a location with well-draining, fertile soil. They enjoy moderate climates and are tolerant to occasional drought. Artichokes prefer sandy, well-drained but fertile soil. A soil pH slightly on the alkaline side is best. Good drainage is crucial to prevent the roots from rotting, especially in areas where they will be overwintered. However, the soil must also be able to retain water long enough to allow the roots to take it in during hot summers.

Best Time to Harvest

Artichoke harvest starts in late July or early August and continues well until frost. Buds are generally harvested once they reach full size, just before the bracts begin to spread open. The best time to harvest artichokes is in the morning when the temperature is cooler. This helps preserve their freshness and flavor.

Preparing an artichoke for consumption involves a few steps:

Trimming the Stem: Start by using a knife to trim off the stem. If you want to consume the stem, you can peel away the tough outer skin to reach the soft, white, edible interior.

Slicing the Top: Lay the artichoke on its side and slice off the top third of the artichoke. This will likely be 1 to 2 inches from the top.

Removing the Thorns: Use kitchen shears to snip off the top portion of the leaves. This is done to remove the thorns.

Removing the Leaves: Start by pulling off the artichoke’s leaves until you get down to the very fine, thin yellow leaves in the center. This should expose much of the heart.

Removing the Choke: The choke is the fuzzy part on the inside of the heart. Use a paring knife or a spoon to scrape the inside walls of the artichoke, removing the choke entirely.

Remember to rub the cut sides of the artichoke with lemon to prevent browning due to oxidation. Now, your artichoke is ready to be cooked and enjoyed!


Artichokes are versatile in cooking. They can be grilled, steamed, stuffed, or even used in dips and salads. Here are a couple of recipes you can try:

Wild Garlic, Artichoke and Lemon Rice: This vegetarian rice recipe combines fresh lemon, seasonal artichoke, and the sweetness of wild garlic, making it the perfect dish for a spring day.

Chicken Artichoke Soup with Wild Rice: A light, healthy, and brothy soup with vegetables, wild rice, and artichoke hearts. It’s a quick and easy dinner recipe that’s also keto-friendly.

Interesting Facts

Artichokes are one of the oldest foods known to humans. According to Greek mythology, the artichoke became known through the Greek God Zeus. Artichokes are considered a delicacy in many cuisines. They are often featured in gourmet dishes and are prized for their distinctive flavor.


Wikipedia (Artichoke)

Wikipedia (Wild Artichoke)

The Spruce

Gardeners HQ