If you want some cactus to eat and something to grow during droughts look no further than prickly pear. I’ve grown them ever since the last major drought and don’t regret it.
Any variety/species recommendations for cactus tunas?
Nopal fruit - $1
Cold Hardy Cactus
Do you eat just the fruit or the pads too?
I eat both but the eastern prickly pear I grow is not as good as the western prickly pear for either fruit or pads. The fruit in Texas are like chicken eggs whereas my fruit are like quail eggs. The seeds in mine are hard and theirs are not. So moral of the story is I say I eat mine but it really means I juice them. I eat the western prickly pear cactus like a pear and feel like a million dollars afterwards. They are said to be anti inflammatory by many experts and they sure make me feel good. You burn the thorns off first by the way.
I had a prickly pear fruit from Mexico once and it was big as an egg like you said, but it was many years ago and I don’t remember the flavor.
Tastes somewhat like a blan melon to me. The flavor is good but not like something I can really describe beyond that.
Edible Landscaping sells a prickly pear cactus I’m always tempted to buy. I always really enjoy the fruit when I see it at the grocery store – though the price is hard to justify. Not sure the EL one would really survived in a cold zone 6.
The ones I grow are at least zone 4-5. The petals remind me a little of okra / green peppers and I use them in fajitas after I fry them.
SMC, you can also grow your own by rooting a pad or a fruit.
All right! I’m convinced. Now to post in the “What are you ordering for 2016 thread.”
I have hesitated to grow cactus in the yard because of the grand kids. It grows here wild , the smaller version, I can see where it would be an advantage during a drought like we had a couple of years ago.
Mine don’t grow much during the summer because we don’t usually get rain very often from some point in May until some point in August or September. Just yesterday I was thinking that I do need to move the largest one because it’s grown to the point that it will soon be encroaching on the handicap accessible ramp I have leading up to the playground. The thorns on the prickly pear cacti that we have aren’t too bad. The thorns on the rambling roses are much, much, worse. Even some of the lemon trees have more vicious thorns. The plants that look deceptively less threatening than the prickly pears are the century plants. Those have gashed my leg or arm more than once when I’ve accidentally brushed against them.
Love the cactus flowers you have. I enjoy the red prickly pear juice in the summer, only slightly sweet, but has light refresh aroma. Put some Rum and make it into italian ice …yummy
These cactus starts I gave to a friend in 2016 have really grown! Absolutely gorgeous what he did with them!