ARTICHOKE garlics are so named due to their overlapping layers of cloves. When stressed they can bolt but usually they have no true flower stalk, making them suitable for braiding. Easy to grow, Artichoke varieties have broad leaves and a sprawling growth habit. The bulbs mature mid season, are round and can get quite large. They have a simple flavor, are generally mild in heat and can store up to nine months from harvest. Artichokes may produce 60-70 cloves per pound. Artichokes are $10 per ¼ lb; $16 per ½ lb; $24 per lb. except for Polish White.
Polish White is your typical Artichoke variety: large, often enormous, flat bottomed bulbs with some light purple blushing on wrappers enclosing 9-15 cloves. This has been the most consistently productive Artichoke of the dozen or so we’ve grown and think this is an ideal garlic for CSAs. It was brought to Clarendon, New York by the Cznŏwski family: fur trading Polish immigrants circa 1900. It has a fresh green flavor and increases in heat in its first six of a ten month storage capacity. Polish White is $8.50 per ¼ lb; $15 per ½ lb; $22 per lb. Bulk available
Ail de Pays Parne: This French variety has the darkerest purple coloration on the wrappers of the Artichokes, though bulbs tend to be slightly smaller and have fewer cloves per bulb as well. It has a mild, sweet flavor. 1 lb. limit
Beekeepers’ Sicilian: this very unusual Artichoke has only 5-6 massive cloves on oblong bulbs. It matures earlier than other Artichokes but otherwise it has the same characteristic leaf architecture, simple flavor. Brought to Wisconsin by Sicilian immigrants in the 1920s, who, as the name suggests, were beekeepers by trade. Not available for 2022
Corsican Red: This strain from the Mediterranean island of Corsica, birthplace of Napoléon, has more red-purple coloration than the other Artichokes. Corsican history is colorful as well. Conquered by just about every regional empire at some point, it has been under French rule since 1768. After forty years of often violent independence struggles, nationalists have gained momentum. Recent violent demonstrations pertaining to the status of nationalist political prisoners underscore the continuing tensions of Corsicans with French rule. Like it’s neighbor, Sardinia, it’s been a destination sought by tourists and of late, refugees; it has also had a considerably high murder rate, largely mafia related assassinations. The word for garlic in Corsican is nearly the same as in Italian: “aglia” The garlic is mild with a fresh green flavor, well suited to Mediterranean cuisine. A note on harvest timing: the colors show in the outer scales of the bulbs so, if that’s to show, it’s better harvested when there are more green leaves remaining, like six, rather than less. Also, it has more of a tendency to bolt than any other Artichoke that’s been grown here. This is unlikely to occur in warmer climates.