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~Fun Fact~
Onions, apples and potatoes all have the same taste. The difference in flavor is caused by their smell. Pinch your nose and try it - they will all taste sweet.

Artichoke See More →

Imperial Star
 

Imperial Star

Enjoy the large, edible flower buds of this artichoke variety. It has mild, sweet buds from mid-summer through fall.

Water: Deep, rich, loose, and well-drained soil
Exposure: Full Sun - 6+ hours direct sun

Description
Planting Instructions
Care Tips/Maintenance
Harvest Instructions
Storage Instructions
Prep/Serving Information

 

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Artichoke  3:36
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Descriptionback/top ↑
Grow your own artichokes and enjoy the large, edible flower buds at their prime! Producing the first year, Imperial Star bears lots of sweet, mild artichokes from mid-summer through fall. The round, 4.5-in. (11-cm)

Planting Instructionsback/top ↑

Artichokes grow best in sunny locations in a deep, rich, loose, and well-drained soil. They are easy to grow, but artichokes can take up a lot of space in your garden.

Dig and cultivate the ground well in winter and early spring, incorporating manure or compost. A few weeks before planting, rake in a general balanced fertilizer.

Plant your chokes about 6 in. deep. The tops should be above ground level. Space each plant 2 to 4 ft. apart in rows, and leave 4 to 5 ft. between rows. Be sure to water deeply.


Care Tips/Maintenanceback/top ↑
Keep watering your young artichoke plants daily until they are established (when the leaves stop flagging). Then water during dry spells. Throughout the summer, hoe regularly to keep the rows weed-free, so the plants are not competing for water or nutrition. Monthly applications of a nitrogen fertilizer is beneficial for healthy re-growth.As your plant matures, each artichoke plant will send up seasonal shoots, and will form a cluster of large leaves from which a center stem grows. Buds are produced terminally on the elongated stem and on lateral branches. The terminal bud is usually the largest and the lower buds are generally smaller in size.

Harvest Instructionsback/top ↑
Artichoke buds are ready for harvest when the top bud reaches a 2 to 4 in. diameter and is still fairly compact. The heads will be mature and fleshy, but the scales should be still shut tight. Cut the main heads first, leaving 1 ½ in. of stem.After all the buds have been harvested, cut spent stalks to the ground and mulch with high quality compost or straw. Feed the plant with a well-balanced fertilizer. New shoots, which grow from the base of the old stump, will develop their own stalks. Artichoke plants are at their best as the plant matures at 2 to 3 years old.Once established, an artichoke plant will provide you with healthy crops from 4 to 7 years.

Storage Instructionsback/top ↑
You can keep fresh-picked artichokes refrigerated at 34-38 deg. F (0-5 deg C) with a high humidity. To keep your artichokes looking their best, remove damaged or discolored leaves. But trim stems only once! Too much trimming dehydrates the bud.Do not freeze raw artichokes. They will turn brown upon thawing and have a bitter taste. Instead, blanch the artichokes first by removing the stem and cutting off the top by 1 in. or so. Hollow out the center: smash the thorny end against a countertop and scoop out the flower portions with a sharp, sturdy spoon. Pour lemon juice over the choke to help prevent browning. Make a small hole through the base to help heat penetration.Bring water to a boil, and, along with your artichokes, add more lemon juice. Hold the water temperature to just under a boil for 20 mins. They will be “al dente”.Remove the chokes and place in cool water to lower their temperature. Drain the chokes upside down on a paper towel. Freeze by placing them in freezer bags for protection.The cooking should arrest the enzyme system, but not cause the artichoke to come apart. Upon thawing, the chokes should be cooked an additional 25 mins. or so.

Prep/Serving Informationback/top ↑
Don’t be intimidated by artichokes! They’re fun to eat, and good for you! Most people cook the whole artichoke and slip each leaf petal, one by one, through their teeth until they reach the delectable heart. It’s a great vegetable for children – they love to eat with their fingers! According to the California Artichoke Advisory Board, one medium-sized artichoke is a good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium. It's low in sodium, fat-free and a dieter's delight at only 25 calories. Artichokes may be served hot or cold. You can dip the base petal into sauce or melted butter for added flavor. Spoon out the fuzzy center at the base to reveal the heart of the artichoke – it is entirely edible. In addition to eating them

More Informationback/top ↑

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