July 10, 2013


I was given some cardoon seed from a friend that described them as beautiful huge flowers.  I had no idea what it was, and in fact waited a couple years before I even planted some seed.
I planted it last year in a sunny bed under my young cherry tree.  It grew 3-4 feet tall (and no flowers!), but as soon as the chickens were given free reign of the yard in the later fall, they decimated it in a few hours down to nothing.

Turns out cardoon is edible.  It is also known as artichoke thistle.  See You Grow Girls post. No wonder the chickens loved it so much. However, the process is pretty long and drawn out with a lot of direction on wrapping the stems up with string and burlap for weeks (ouch, those thorns are a couple inches long!) and then a very complicated cooking process.  Not something I am planning to spend my time on anytime soon.

To my dismay, last year, it never bloomed.

This year it is covered with blooms! Despite the chicken destruction, it came back with no prompting from me. Hopefully the blooms are glorious.

You can see the long thorns

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