Should I be harvesting my globe artichokes?

I’m a little confused. It’s nearly December and my Globe Artichokes seem to be in full swing…the flowers and foliage started to die back in October, so I cut them down to ground level, but they’re already getting quite big again and there’s fruit on them again now. It’s very odd. From everything I have read, once they die back in autumn, that’s them done until the following spring. Did I miss something?! I can only assume that it’s because we’ve had a fairly mild (albeit ridiculously wet and soggy) late autumn.

The new artichoke fruits are definitely on the small side, so I’ve been unsure whether or not to harvest them. I think that I could, I can’t see that it would harm the plants at all as they are already well established (I think they are in year 2 or 3, and they’re looking strong!) However, I’m rather hoping that they will flower if it stays reasonably mild…I quite fancy a splash of mid-winter purple in the veg patch, when there is little colour. Or perhaps they’ll hang on until early spring when the bees wake up again and provide some valuable food early on in the season.

I’d love to know if other people have experienced this second flourish, and if you have any advice! In the meantime, I shall just admire my plants on those occasions when I venture into the muddy veg patch to harvest the last of my leeks, parsnips and celeriac!