I am a renter so every few years or so I wind up leaving one garden to begin another. My truck is usually packed tightly with potted plants. It’s a spectacle. Every garden that my partner and I start includes at least a few artichokes. It’s a no-brainer, new garden – must plant artichokes. Right now there are two in the front yard and a cardoon in the side yard.

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At last count, and before eating, we had 9 artichokes. I’ve let a few go past prime because I absolutely love the surreal color purple that winds up being it’s flower. I’ll make sure to take a picture when that happens this year. I suspect most of you know good artichoke recipes and I’ll leave the recipes to the experts like 101 cookbooks and Smitten Kitchen. The artichoke has medicinal values too though…

When I’ve made artichoke tincture before I’ve used the leaf, although I’m sure the artichoke itself has some medicinal properties too (except for that they’re usually eaten with huge pats of butter). The leaves are exceedingly bitter and when taken, especially before a meal, stimulate the digestive system to get to work. Classically artichoke has been used to aid the liver in its digestive function. My herb teacher, Karyn Sanders also uses the leaves as a strong tea to help ease arthritic pains. So many reasons to love artichokes!

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