Texas Artichoke Growers Aim To Break California Hold On Industry

California has long had an arti-chokehold on the spiny-leafed vegetable industry in the United States.

Now a Texas A&M University researcher and a commercial grower in southern Texas are on a quest to use the area's Winter Garden
region to grow artichokes comparable to California's finest.

The unusual-looking vegetable is a finicky grower. It finds the
consistent climate in the northern part of the Golden State to its
liking, but almost nowhere else in the United States.

A&M professor Daniel Leskovar says California has artichoke
weather year-round.

But the Winter Garden area provides plenty of harvesting time
and the perfect weather for the plants to thrive from September
through May, when the temperatures averages 65 degrees.

D'Hanis farmer Jerry Van Damme says last year he sold all 600
cartons of artichokes he harvested to the H.E. Butt Grocery
Company.

He hopes to double his harvest next spring.


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