I was in absolute awe of the fields. I sure hope I get the chance to go back!
Aren’t they just beautiful? Artichokes are actually the bud of the plant and at full maturity, they turn into a gorgeous purple (non-edible) flower. Larger artichokes grow on the top and smaller artichokes grow towards the bottom. This was mind-blowing to me, as I assumed there were “large” artichoke plants and “baby” artichoke plants, but that isn’t the case. They have primary (the largest), secondary and tertiary buds, so those adorable “baby artichokes” you see in the grocery store are actually just tertiary artichokes!
Standing in a field with an abundance of artichokes has me convinced they’re one of the most beautiful crops. Speaking of beautiful- look at those inner petals and the heart. Gorgeous!
Artichokes are harvested by hand and watching this process was both humbling and mesmerizing. Harvesters walk through the fields wearing “canastas” (basically a backpack), cut the mature artichokes and effortlessly (or so it looks that way) toss the artichoke in the canasta. But here’s the deal- the canastas can weigh up the 100 pounds when full and the whole process requires strength, attention to detail and skill. Mad props to both the harvesters and for Ocean Mist Farms because they take excellent care of all their employees. Isn’t that an awesome picture? Abby got so many great shots, but that one is definitely my favorite!