The harvesting season for artichokes has increased for producers in Izmir

The harvesting season for artichokes has increased for producers in Izmir, the production hub of artichokes, where 30% of artichoke production in Turkey takes place. The months of April and May will be characterized by harvest intensity.

Artichokes, a vegetable suited for mild climates, are primarily cultivated in the Aegean and Marmara regions of Turkey. Known for enhancing the flavor of dishes when prepared with olive oil, artichokes are also preferred for their health benefits due to containing various minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus, alongside vitamins A and C.

In Izmir, which meets 30% of the country’s artichoke production, harvesting begins around February but intensifies in April and May, continuing until June. Besides the geographically registered Chios artichoke, Bayrampaşa variety and hybrid artichokes are also cultivated in the region.

Artichoke cultivation spans over 8 thousand hectares in various districts such as Çeşme, Urla, Seferihisar, Torbalı, and Karaburun.

This season, it is expected that approximately 11 thousand tons of artichokes will be produced, similar to the previous year, as adverse weather conditions that could affect yield have not been experienced.

Mustafa Şahin, the Director of Agriculture and Forestry in Izmir, mentioned that spring is the most suitable time for consuming artichokes, hence the concentration of harvesting in April and May. He emphasized that Izmir is one of the most significant centers for artichoke production in Turkey, especially with the Chios artichoke variety that holds a geographical indication. Şahin noted the proximity of artichoke cultivation areas in Izmir, such as Urla, Seferihisar, and Çeşme, sharing similar climatic conditions and the labor-intensive nature of artichoke farming.

Local artichoke varieties, particularly the Chios artichoke, are being preserved, Şahin added, mentioning the preference for colorful or purple artichokes.

Turgay Gülgönül, an artichoke producer from Seferihisar’s Düzce Village, explained that artichoke planting takes place around September or October, with the plant propagating from the roots. He outlined various cultivation practices such as basal fertilization, thinning, leaf removal, and pest control. Gülgönül noted that the mild winter allowed for the first harvests to be obtained in February.

Both Gülgönül and Ersin Güvercin, who has been in artichoke production for 33 years, highlighted the high demand for artichokes. Güvercin mentioned fulfilling artichoke orders from all regions of Turkey via shipping due to the widespread demand.

source: aa.com.tr/ prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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