The first thing you see when you enter the Freedom Farm veggie garden are the Cardoons and the Artichokes. These spectacular plants are not only delicious to humans but also a very necessary part of the diet of insects. Every year I always leave a few Artichokes for the beetles and the Cardoons too, not just for beetles but for bees also. Right now there’s not a huge amount out there for bees and you can see many of them enjoying this rare treat. Cardoons are the wild ancestor of Artichokes and you do not eat the flower, instead you blanche the stems and eat them a bit like celery. They are an important ingredient in many traditional Spanish and Catalan dishes including the ‘madrileño‘.
You can see poor old Molly in the background with the dreaded cone on her head. I assure you she is already feeling better but still has to suffer a few more days before the cone can come off. Sorry Molly!