Our Artichoke Connections


With the holidays officially kicking off in just a few short days, it's time now more than ever that we call to mind our favorite holiday memories shared around the dinner table and get the kitchen ready to whip up those favorite seasonal recipes! And let me tell you, you'd be surprised to know how many artichoke-lovers contact us just to share how much they appreciate our Ocean Mist Farms artichokes being a part of their longstanding family traditions and favorite memories over the decades.


The photo above was taken in our artichoke packing shed in 1924, nearly a century ago.

It got me thinking how there always seems to be a fond memory or funny story that connects each of us to artichokes, whether stemming from the first time eating and artichoke, preparing that special artichoke dish for the holidays from Nona's handwritten recipe, or perhaps eating deep fried artichokes roadside on a classic road trip through the Central Coast.

20160324-_Q5Y1690Have you taken a road trip down Highway 1 and gone through Castroville? If so,  you've seen our artichoke fields.

My personal artichoke story has always been tied to Ocean Mist Farms' Agro Art Competitions held every year at the annual Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival, which requires contestants to make a sculpture entirely out of fresh produce while using at least 10% artichokes. I participated in this competition every year from elementary school through high school, and I always remember it fondly. Coincidentally, I was sorting through some old photos at home a few weeks ago when I came across a throwback photo from my 2005 Agro Art Competition.

OMF-AgroArt CompetitionSeeing this photo, all I remember was how much I struggled painting each artichoke leaf on my hanging papaya parrot, and polishing off my first plate of crispy deep-fried artichokes with my sister after that photo was taken. Funny how you can remember the little things in such detail, right?!

Although the numerous artichoke stories we have are unique to each of us, our personal artichoke memories all have that same story-telling effect that prompts us to bring up "that one time" in conversation whenever artichokes are on the table. We always love hearing about your own connections to our artichokes and want to hear your artichoke story. Please share with us on social media!

Thanksgiving Collage

And if you don't have an artichoke story yet, rest assured there will be plenty to go around if there's an artichoke dish on your holiday table. There's really no conversation starter quite like an artichoke starter ;D We have all the holiday recipe inspiration, artichoke cooking class videos, and the perfect resources you need to find artichokes in retailers near you


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Julie Criswell
Julie has been connected to Ocean Mist Farms for half of her life! When she was 9, she participated in the Artichoke Festival’s Agro-art competition for the first time, and every year until she went to college in Chicago. Now, two years after her summer internship with us, she’s officially aboard our marketing team full-time. Enjoy her perspective of life in the produce lane!
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