Castroville CA is the self proclaimed artichoke capital of the world. Given the percentage of the world’s artichokes that are grown there, I doubt anyone is going to try and challenge them for the title. They seem to have it wrapped up. To celebrate the artichoke, the town holds an artichoke festival. This has become quite a popular event and has now migrated from Castroville to the County fairgrounds in Monterey. This seemed like something worth a visit. While you could find all sorts of things at the festival and try artichoke in many forms – artichoke cupcakes anyone – and have your picture taken with Arty the Artichoke, the thing that really caught our imagination was the artichoke art.
People sculpt various installations using artichokes and other vegetables. They may plan as long as they like but they have to bring the raw ingredients on the morning of the competition and create the art there and then. Some of them were really impressive. My favorite was the pig although several of the others looked pretty cool.