California Artichoke Farms

Are you interested in information about the California artichoke? If you are, it behooves you to plan a trip to the artichoke farms in Castroville California, which is considered to be the Artichoke Center of the World. This is where the California artichoke thrives. Castroville is located in the heart of California's Central Coast farm country, which is why there are so many artichoke farms in the area. Castroville's superb location gives it the ideal climate for artichoke agriculture California. For over 50 years, this home of the California artichoke has celebrated this crop with an Artichoke Festival, which is generally held sometime in May. Here's some California artichoke trivia: In 1947, there was a lovely young woman who just happened to be called Norma Jean. She was crowned Castroville's first artichoke queen. Guess who Norma Jean would eventually become? You guessed it! Marilyn Monroe! The California artichoke town of Castroville also gained fame as a setting for John Steinbeck's short story entitled Johnnie Bear.

Other interesting folklore surrounds the artichoke. The Book of Nature, written by Dr. Bartolomeo Boldo in 1576 states that 'it has the virtue of . . . provoking Venus for both men and women; for women making them more desirable, and helping the men who are in these matters rather tardy." Perhaps it was the artichoke mystique that inspired the Spaniards to come to California in the 1800s in order to create the first artichoke farms. In 1922, California landowner Andrew Molera decided to lease his land in order to develop artichoke farms. The venture proved to be quite profitable. In the ninth edition of her cookbook, Fannie Farmer stated that artichokes were selling in Boston for as high as 40 cents a piece.

Today, at many of Castroville's restaurants, you can dine on a huge, delicious California artichoke. In fact, some of these are considered the biggest artichokes on the planet. Due to the excellent combination of sun, soil and fog, there is superb artichoke agriculture California. For this reason, Castroville has some of the most prolific artichoke farms in the world. Perhaps this is why 100 percent of all domestically grown artichokes in the United States are grown on California artichoke farms. A further understanding of the artichoke agriculture of California will aid you in understanding this phenomenon.

Since artichokes are considered a marine climate vegetable, they are known to thrive in a very cool coastal climate. The artichoke will grow at its best in an environment that produces frost-free trees, which are complemented by summers that are cool and foggy. Temperature extremes intimidate the poor artichoke. Extreme cold will kill its pretty buds, and extreme heat destroys its tenderness. The artichoke agriculture of California is graced by deep fertile and well-drained soil, which is ideal for artichoke growth.

The California artichoke is considered a perennial. It is a member of the thistle group of the sunflower family. When fully grown, the California artichoke spreads to close to six feet in diameter and about three to four feet high. The edible part of the California artichoke is actually the plat's immature flower bud. The height of the stalk determines the size of the bud.

In May, Castroville California celebrates the annual Artichoke Festival. Not only can you sample different recipes, you can visit an artichoke farm and learn about artichoke agriculture in California. You can also get good ideas about how to cook artichoke.

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