Harvest in the Artichoke Capital of the World – Castroville, CA

Artichoke Harvest in Castroville, the Artichoke Capital of the World!

I was looking through my images from our trip to the San Francisco Bay Area last summer and I came across these photos of the artichoke harvest in Castroville, California, which is the artichoke capital of the world! We were driving by one morning on the way from Monterey to Felton to go on the Roaring Camp narrow-gauge steam train. Fortunately we had a few minutes to watch the harvest process. I was amazed at how they sorted and boxed the artichokes right in the field. The large truck parked right next to the workers who walked the rows searching for all the ripe artichokes. They would grab on as they walked by and toss it over their shoulder without slowing a step. At the end of a row, they hoisted the bag up to someone on the truck and it would boxed in no time. Now I have a hankering for those yummy fried artichoke hearts! They melt in your mouth and I hope you get to Castroville sometime to try them fresh during late July when the artichoke harvest is in full swing! Of course, you could just go pick up a few in your local grocery store right now!  Maybe I should work for the California Artichoke Commission… Haha.

Castroville, California Artichoke Capital of the world - Harvest - San Francisco Bay Area -Artsy Artichoke

Castroville, California Artichoke Capital of the world - Harvest - San Francisco Bay Area - Tossing Artichokes

This guy could outwork all his younger counterparts. He always filled his bag first and was so fast seeing the ripe ones! Notice the artichoke he just tossed up in his bag?

Castroville, California Artichoke Capital of the world - Harvest - San Francisco Bay Area - Artichoke Load Castroville, California Artichoke Capital of the world - Harvest - San Francisco Bay Area - Boxing Castroville, California Artichoke Capital of the world - Harvest - San Francisco Bay Area - Sorting Castroville, California Artichoke Capital of the world - Harvest - San Francisco Bay Area - Harvest Castroville, California Artichoke Capital of the world - Harvest - San Francisco Bay Area - Working the fields

Castroville, California Artichoke Capital of the world - Harvest - San Francisco Bay Area

Castroville, California Artichoke Capital of the world - Harvest - San Francisco Bay Area - Flowering Artichoke

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Harvest in the Artichoke Capital of the World – Castroville, CA by Caryn Esplin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

13 Comments

  1. I really love the first image. The colors are wonderful and I love the sharpness of the image. Did you use your D7000? What lens did you use?
    It is also fun to see how they harvest the Artichokes.

  2. Roberta

    These are GREAT – I especially like the 2nd one as you got the artichoke in mid-air going into the sac! Nicely done! I’ve never seen a artichoke field – very cool – kind of like our potato fields!

    • Oh wow, I did not even notice that Roberta. It’s so cool that you were able to capture it mid-air. Great Job!

    • You are very observant, Roberta! It did remind me of our potato harvest, except it is much easier to get the produce from the field to the store… they way they did the sorting and boxing all right there! Yes, I did use my D7000, AJ. When are we going out to shoot with our new D600s?

      • YES! We need to go somewhere and shoot! Billy, you and me. Together we can have the D600 party. Just let me know when you have “time”.

  3. Christina

    Awesome pics! What lens did you use?

    • I used my versatile Nikon 18-200, because it worked so well on my D7000. We were there right at the end of July. A few weeks later while at Lake Powell, I my camera fell off my tripod and damaged the lens beyond repair. So I used that as an excuse to upgrade. Now I still have the 7000, but I also use the D600. I have the 28-300 and it rocks my socks off! I also use the Nikon 85mm 1.4 which has such creamy bokeh. I love keeping these two lenses on my two camera bodies. So when I have them both ready to fire… one FX and one DX. It is nice to have a full frame, but I still like the D7000 for some things. What do you shoot with?

  4. These are absolutely stunning! What a great experience to stop and see that:) My favorite is the first shot! Love the glow to it! I also love the shot of the three workers in the field! You inspire me ! I love the way you capture life!

  5. Crystal Hancock

    I agree these images are stunning. I’ve seen pictures of the fields before, being from California, but nothing this well done. I’m curious like AJ about what this was shot with??? As always Caryn these images are fabulous …you really inspire me

    • Hi Crystal! Thanks for the nice comment. It was fun to shoot…I used my versatile Nikon 18-200, because it worked so well on my D7000. We were there right at the end of July. A few weeks later while at Lake Powell, I my camera fell off my tripod and damaged the lens beyond repair. So I used that as an excuse to upgrade. Now I still have the 7000, but I also use the D600. I have the 28-300 and it rocks my socks off! I also use the Nikon 85mm 1.4 which has such creamy bokeh. I love keeping these two lenses on my two camera bodies. So when I have them both ready to fire… one FX and one DX. It is nice to have a full frame, but I still like the D7000 for some things. What do you shoot with?

  6. Brian J Bell

    I have always wondered how they harvest artichokes. I really like the action shot in the second photo going into the bag. A lot like the old potato harvest. Great photos! I want to go visit there now.

    • Thanks for the comment, Brian. It is a fun trip, because you can start at San Francisco, then go to Monterey and Carmel. Castroville in between the two, but I think closer to Monterey. Anyway, the whole area is a blast! We got flights from Idaho Falls to Oakland on Allegiant Air for a great price. We stayed in Oakland at a Holiday Inn or La Quinta and it was about 1/3 of the price of hotels in San Francisco. Then we rented a car and split our time between San Fran and Monterey and things in between. Great trip!

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