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The Elusive Artichoke

January 10, 1991|RODNEY BOSCH

Though in short supply and high in price, most fruits and vegetables stung by the recent deep freeze are still available at your grocer's produce department.

There is one vegetable you will have to do without for some time--the artichoke.

Monterey County produces 85% of the United States' artichoke supply, said Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner Richard Nutter.

A peak harvest period was to commence in January and continue through February.

"Conjecturally speaking, it looks like a total loss," Nutter said.

"Most of the artichokes that were about to be picked fell to the ground. We've lost millions of dollars."

He said it would be April before the perennial artichoke plants bear any fruit.

"At this time we just don't know how severe the plants were affected to determine if we'll have anything by then," he said. "One thing is for sure, artichokes are going to be very, very scarce for some time."

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