Prickly pears

Resilient, independent, delicious, nutritious, evolving prickly pears. Not just a plant - a role model!

I’ve suffered for this plant a few times.

There was a small prickly pear cactus in El Terreno when we came, and with a little weeding and mulch it has doubled in size. But one didn’t seem sufficient.

I decided to bring home a pad from a particularly hearty, healthy looking cactus to propigate a new one. They’re all over roadsides, so it was easy to pick one. I picked the pad as carefully as possible, but couldn’t avoid all the thorns.

These cacti are determined. Check out how well our transplant is doing now!

These cacti are hearty; they grow between rocks

These cacti are stunning; they grow from juicy pads

into tree-bark-thick-skin.

I left for a hike one morning without my water bottle, and after two hours I couldn’t stand my thirst any longer. I broke down and broke some pears off a few cacti. As careful as I was, I ended up with thorns in my fingers, lips and tongue! But I got some hydration.

My new method involves flame.

The skin is safe to peel by hand now, but the flavor doesn’t improve with fire. We tried making cocktails with the fruit, but the huge seeds are distracting. (I need dental work and Phillip has to be careful about intestinal blockage; we’re practicing for later years!)

The pads are the best part, sauteed or steamed. I’ll try burning those thorns next!

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