Castroville is the Artichoke capitol of the world and is home to the annual Artichoke Festival. The 51st annual festival took place May 15 and 16 and included two full days of family traditions, such as Artichoke-eating contests. There was also a plethora of Artichokes for festival-goers to buy at the farmers market – more than 9,600 fresh Artichokes were purchased at the festival this year!
Castroville residents first celebrated the local Artichoke harvest at the 1959 Artichoke festival. As the country’s passion for Artichokes grew, so did the festival’s roster of activities, which now includes musical entertainment, wine tastings, field tours, a farmers market and an arts-and-crafts fair. As a proud sponsor of the annual festival, Ocean Mist Farms’ employees and their family members participated in festival activities and volunteered their time to make it a memorable event.
More festival highlights:
Artichoke King and Queen Contest
An annual tradition at the festival is the Artichoke king and queen contest. The king and queen each win a scholarship from the Castroville Artichoke Festival. This year’s Artichoke king and queen were Harrison Borchard and Rachel Valdez.
Chef Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro, located in Monterey, Calif., was a popular feature of this year’s festival. Baker held several cooking demonstrations, including one for how to make Risotto of Baby Artichokes. Visit the Ask the Chef page on our website and ask Baker your Artichoke- and recipe-related questions!
Agro Art Competition
Another festival favorite is the Agro Art competition. Agro Art is three-dimensional fruit and vegetable artwork. This quirky competition fosters imagination, creativity and is fun for both participants and viewers. There were 22 entries for the Agro Art competition this year, and the winners are:
View larger images of the above photos here.