The top artichoke producing regions in the world are Italy, Spain and Egypt — the hearty thistle thrives in southern Mediterranean regions.
Leslie Creed wasn't deterred by those mere facts. Creed is a horticulturist by trade and likes to try growing new plants every year in the subarctic city.
"I love just seeing what we can grow up here. And what the successful rate is," she said.
Creed also wasn't dissuaded when last year's artichoke didn't make it. In March, she started again — planting the seeds indoors, until moving it to her outdoor garden in May.
"It does like a little cold spell. It needs a little cold spell for it to flower."
And it worked.
Her artichoke is thriving. Creed said it's an easy plant to care for. She waters it once or twice a week. Yellowknife had a warm July, but with lots of rain, which was perfect for the plant.
"When it's in full bloom, it is quite amazing. It would be like a peony or similar to a rose ... in shape and form."
She said people who come to her house have been taking notice of the large plant.
"We had someone drop off pizza last week and he's like, 'Is that an artichoke?'" she said, laughing. "It is quite an attractive plant. You don't have to eat it, you can always keep it as an ornamental."
Now the question is, when to harvest it. Creed is trying to hit that delicate balance of not pulling it too early, or too late. It should be opening a bit, but if she waits too long it could get "woody."
"It looks ready now! I just don't know because I've never harvested an artichoke," she said.
Creed does plan to eat it. She's only ever had artichoke in dips, but hears simple butter and garlic, which evidently is the Italian way to prepare it, is the best option.
"I am not a cook, so I am like really stressing out about how to prepare this artichoke," she laughed. "I mean, can you go wrong with garlic butter?"
As for next year, she's looking for her next conquest, and recommends Yellowknifers follow her lead.
"I think this is worth someone's time for next year! Definitely try out artichoke."