Wednesday, April 14, 2010

choked up

Last year, I grew corn in containers on the roof top deck above our sun room.

It was beautiful, and got a lot of attention from the neighbors. (even now when I meet people in the neighborhood and tell them which house is mine they say, "did you grow corn on the roof last year?") but growing heirloom corn sucks, literally.

We had to water the plants every single day, sometimes twice a day, and for all that effort we got one ear of corn per plant. Just ONE! It was almost insulting since we can get the most delicious organic corn at the farmers market for ridiculously cheap.

So I decided that this year there would be no corn, but what to plant in its place? I wanted something pretty and tall enough to give us a little privacy on the deck, something I didn't already plan on including in our community garden plot. (Community garden opens this weekend! I can't wait!)

So what did I decide on? Artichokes! (aren't my seedlings cute?)


I know what you are thinking, artichokes in Michigan? That's crazy. And it is, but there is a kind of artichoke, Imperial Star, that matures quickly and can be planted as an annual in cold climates.

Plus they are such beautiful plants, especially if you don't pick them and let them go to flower, and they are super yummy, so, I'm giving it a go.

I'll keep you posted how about it goes.

25 comments:

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Oh wow. Can't wait to see those little seedlings grow!

pen.ny said...

Oooh I love I love the fact that you chose artichokes:)

I also love that picture of your top deck from last year, even though the corn didn't grow in numbers it sure did look amazing!

Alex said...

Corn?! What a great idea. Too bad it didn't work out. I love artichokes. I've never seen a crop of artichokes before! Crazy how they grow so tall. Have fun!

hip hip gin gin said...

All I can think right now is "you can grown corn in containers?" and "artichokes flower?"! You learn something new everyday, lol.
I'm sorry your corn was not plentiful, but we might have to try that this season. Both being used to the delicious corn you speak of, we are not thrilled by our grocery store offerings to say the least. It can't possibly go any worse than last year's tomato effort. We'll see if I can talk the husband into it.
Hope your artichokes are both plentiful and tall!!

Jayne said...

Awesome! I love the fact that you grew corn on your roof. But I can't wait to hear about the artichokes. :)

owl and peacock : melina said...

Oh! You may be my hero. I'm growing corn this year, but in ground - which i read doesn't have to be watered as much. I'm growing it mostly because I'm curious, but I'll take your experience with caution...!
Good luck with your artichokes :)

Gloria said...

What a great idea, who would have guessed an ugly sounding plant (always pictured them ugly anyway) would have such a lovely flower. Wish you good luck with them!
Smile today. :)

chiara said...

I still crack up when I think about Jon eating the ENTIRE artichoke, including the choke, in Italy.

Can't wait to see the product!

educational portal said...

I've never seen an artichoke flower before, and it is so pretty. Hope these little seedlings grow into such beauties.

Christina said...

That's awesome! I love it. (:

Dancing Branflake said...

Oh my goodness that little guy is so cute! I love that you grew corn and everybody knew it. Too bad there was no more benefit than that.

Amanda Wright said...

Great idea! Our carport used to have a deck on the roof before we moved in, but the previous owners removed it. I'm dying to rebuild it. The roof is the only sunny spot in our yard and I'd love to grow veggies up there. I hope you have a bumper crop so you can share some artichoke recipes!

Meghan said...

I admire your dedication! I kill everything I plant:(

Diana said...

You are officially my hero. Artichokes that can grow in Northern climes!? Sign me up!!

(hope you're well, by the way!)

abigail said...

thanks! I'm excited to see how it goes. My seedlings are already so cute even if we don't get any crop I'm sure I'll be happy.

Tumbleweed Woman said...

oh my, i LOVE that you grew corn on your roof! that's so funny and adorable! and artichokes, great choice! i'm excited to see how they turn out!!

Pesky Cat Designs said...

The corn looked so beautiful that I think it was worth it even though you got only one ear per plant. The artichokes are a super idea! LOVE the blue flower it will have. They will look stunning on your already stunning roof garden!

paula said...

I am quite impressed. looks lovely.

piccola samurai said...

I love your idea! Artichokes are very common here in Sicily so I am very curious about their growth in your climate. And I'm also curious about growing them from seeds... following your experience may inspire me to do that next year! Good luck!

Ann said...

Corn! How cool. I've never seen an artichoke flower before. How beautiful.

Brandi said...

Artichokes are a brilliant idea! I would have suggested tomato plants, but I'm from New Jersey and we love our tomato plants. Corn is so ambitious! I admire you for taking that on.

abigail said...

We're gonna have tons of tomatoes in our community garden plot. TONS!

Can't wait.

jane said...

Artichokes! Love that idea. Hope all goes well and you post more pics.

alissa said...

adding to my list of things to plant in my future garden! i had no idea the flowered

Bryce said...

I am impressed by your corn- and artichoke-growing skills. But did you expect more than one ear of corn per plant?