We live in such an awesome place! On our drive to the park in Lompoc today, we passed by the many produce and flower fields surrounding this little city, as we usually do, but something about the drive today hit me. There on the side of the road were tons and tons of artichoke plants! When most people think of artichokes, they think of those little jars of marinated hearts... and here I am looking at a field of artichoke plants! How cool is that?!

Now, I love to eat artichokes, but until recently, I had no idea how to cook them, extract the much sought-after 'heart', nor did I even understand what an artichoke was! It turns out there are two common types of artichokes, the green (which you typically see) and purple, which seem to be growing in popluarity here in California and have a bit nuttier, earthier taste.

The cool thing, that I did not know about artichokes, is that they are really a thistle plant, related to the sunflower. When they're past their prime for harvesting and eating, they actually flower into a breath-takingly vivid purple - which is exactly what the field of artichokes we passed today is doing! Now, I have no idea why the farmer of this particular field decided to let them bloom (as they're no longer good eats) but they're just stunning to look at. Since this sight took my breath away, how could I not share with you a glimpse of something you don't see everyday... unless you live in Lompoc!

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