Cultivated for at least 30,000 years! The ancestor of the globe artichoke, has spinier leaves and a non-edible flower head but the stalks are harvested like celery and cooked. The leaves are bitter and should be removed. Harvest stalks when plants are 12-24 in. tall. Taller plants require blanching: wrap outer leaves and then wrap with old grocery bags to exclude light, using twine to hold the wrap tight. Harvest the blanched plants in a month. Prepare stalks by boiling in salted water with a twist of lemon to prevent discoloration. Serve as a vegetable or use in stews or soups. Also good pickled or dipped in batter and fried.