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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Garden Gleanings - Breeding weeds with veggies

Posted Friday, June 27, 2008, at 8:49 AM
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  • Steve,

    The best I remember, artichokes are usually treated as biennials; planted out from divisions in the late summer/early fall and harvested the following year. This ensures larger, fleshier flower buds. My Grandmother would never let hers complete flowering. She said they were pernicious weeds when left to their own devices, capable of taking over the world. I think she may have been correct. I have never grown artichokes personally, nor have I grown cardoon, or thistle, but thistles have appeared all around us from nowhere. I'm an old man and our experience with the thistles is new and overwhelming. I wonder if these thistles are the reverted seedlings of artichokes? I also wonder, are these thistles edible?

    -- Posted by dmcg on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 9:42 PM
  • I have been wondering about the thistle as well. I usually only notice it after the have flowered, but I am going to try to pursue that question. The same or eating thistle like cardoon.

    It is a biennial, but have some varieties that are supposed to complete in one season. Our winters are often too cold to overwinter, but if they do not flower this year, I will try to over winter and see what happens.

    Did your mother grow these in Tennessee?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jun 29, 2008, at 9:13 AM
  • I think most of our "weeds" began as desirable plants imported because they were edible,medicinal,made dyes or fabric.

    When we forgot their benefits,we didn't use them enough to keep their population down.

    Then,the fact they were plentiful and hardy became a problem.

    Maybe we could use them more?

    Dandelions make good eating and artichokes were a treatment for diabetes before people could buy insulin.

    Bamboo and hemp have been rediscovered.

    Maybe other plants we try to erdicate now could be welcomed for old and new applications.

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Sun, Jun 29, 2008, at 1:43 PM
  • That would be a fantastic thread quantumcat. Maybe we could get local folklore on the use. Most of our wealth of knowledge may be in the heads of people who do not use te internet, but if we know they have it, maybe we could talk to them.

    They would enjoy the discussions and visit, we would benefit from their knowledge. Super!!!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jun 29, 2008, at 2:52 PM
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