Castroville - Artichoke Center of the World
PelicanNetwork Guide to California Central Coast 
Town Built on Artichokes

Now You can order Castroville Green Globe artichokes direct from the farm - fast Priority mailed to your house. Lowest prices - best chokes - fastest delivery - Details

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•••••Since the 1920s, Castroville has produced the world's best artichokes. Secrets of the great "Globe" 'choke are known only to the Italian families who started the industry in this perfect setting.  

Please Note: Currently there is a glut of "thornless" artichokes in supermarkets - they are very inferior - they are not Castroville Green Globe Artichokes for which this town is famous.

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Artichokes surround Castroville, the righteously acclaimed Artichoke Center of the World. This is where Marilyn Monroe, then known as Norma Jean, got her start as the first artichoke festival queen.

Anchored in a thistle kingdom, Castroville is an eccentric little hamlet. One of Steinbeck's finest short stories, Johnnie Bear, was set here.

Swiss Italians, who also grew the first wine vineyards in Salinas Valley, began the California artichoke industry here. It is now a $50 million crop for Pajaro Valley - where Castroville and Moss Landing host nearly all the artichoke fields.

Historic cottage on Castroville's main drag, Hwy One, through town.

Premiere growing ground is sacrificed only for a children's playground, a waterfowl's wetland preserve, and an efficiency of homes and business. All the rest of the land is dedicated to the business of making Green Globe Artichokes ... which are harvested year round.

 

Sherri Lazerrini shows off the world famed Castroville artichoke crop -- visit her produce stand

Sherri ships artichokes to people all over the world, likes to discuss the virtues and seasonal idiosyncrasies of the beloved thistle from the family produce stand.

You can communicate with her online, and order artichokes sent to your home. She's working on a recipe book with PelicanNetwork that will be available soon.

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Whether artichokes are indigenous is the subject of debate. Some claim Spaniards brought them here. Most people agree the vastly superior Green Globe, which uniquely prospers here, was imported from Italy in the 1880s

Andrew Molera, for whom the state park near Point Sur is named, planted the first artichokes in these parts in the '20s. Now more than 3/4ths of the world's crop is grown here. And they are grown and harvested by hand. No machines are involved.

Globe artichokes, the best, and actually the only authentic chokes that are known for culinary excellence, are only grown here, and grown only here. The Castroville families, descendants of the pioneer 'choke growers, don't share their secrets. And they are not grown from seeds. All artichokes, all on the same plant, even, grow to different sizes. The skilled pickers in the Castroville fields know when the 'choke is mature. After the harvest, the plant is trimmed to the nub, and it regenerates with a new crop. In the stores the consumer can identify the Globe artichoke by the pointed end, or thorn, on the thistle.

This little niche of the Monterey Bay is the only place in the world that can grow artichokes of this extraordinary quality. It is a rare convergence of cool misty sea air and alluvial ground filled with rich nutrients from two rivers, Pajaro and Salinas.

Moss Landing, which straddles Elkhorn Slough and the Ocean at the mouth of Pajaro River, is also prime growing land for strawberries, brussels sprouts, cabbages and exotic specialty vegetables.

Fields between Moss Landing and Castroville

Landmarks are many in Castroville. Favorites include the Giant Artichoke and Bing's Diner.

Order Green Globe Artichokes Online

 

The Artichoke Festival - 3d weekend in May - features a parade, a 10-K race, arts & crafts, live music, many artichoke dishes prepared by celebrity chefs, and on-going children's entertainment.

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Ranch homes in the Pajaro Valley around Castroville are usually the kind that draw long looks. The front yards are dedicated to crops, as every inch of the soil in this valley is prized for growing.

Point Lobos

Pelican Getaways

Santa Cruz Redwoods

Big Sur Story

Pacific Grove

Steinbeck Center

Big Basin Creation

Big Sur Eco Guide

Monterey

Central Coast Guide

C. Coast Activities

Big Sur Lodge

Elkhorn Slough

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

Central Coast Events

Big Sur Campgrounds

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Calif. Back Country

Central Coast Map

Ventana Wilderness

Carmel Hiking

Bygone Towns

Molera State Park

Pebble Beach

Castroville

Monarchs in Pacific Grove

Big Sur People & Places

Santa Cruz

Cambria

Natural Bridges - Butterfly

Big Sur Watercolors

Monterey Bay Volunteer

San Simeon-Piedras Blancas

Books

Big Sur Hiking

Marine Sanctuary

Elephant Seal Notes

Artichoke Store

Big Sur Lodging

Moss Landing

Pinnacles

Garden Art

Hwy One - Big Sur Road

Carmel Valley

Mission San Antonio

Flowers

Big Sur Cabins

Carmel Birding

Hearst Hacienda

Birding Places

Big Sur Coast

Carmel Lodging

Elephant Seals

Artichokes

Point Sur Historical Park

Morro Bay

Montaña de Oro

Nature Guide

Partington Cove & Canyon

Hecker Pass

Cayucos

Member Comments

Nacimiento Road

Pinnacles Monument

Harmony

PelicanNetwork Links

Old Coast Road - Big Sur

Kayak Central Coast

Salinan Nation

PelicanNetwork Home

Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Rock Art Site Steward

About Pelican Network

Big Sur Diving

Aquarium

Member's Comments

Pelican Member

Big Sur Birding