edible cactus ready to harvest March 08 2016, 0 Comments

We are getting a nice growth of edible cactus on our upper terraces.

The upper terraces get more sunshine in the winter, and they don't get as cold at night as the cold air drains downhill to the older cactus plants. These plants are just now starting to put out a good harvest for the first time since they were planted four years ago. Our overall cactus harvest of summer should be double any other year.

Organic edible cactus pads, gourmet quality

These are the fresh leaves at the beginning of the 'Grade-C' grade. 

We are very happy when we're able to switch to the fresh leaves each spring.

Gourmet Grade-A edible Cactus pads

These are a good look at the quality we demand for the Grade-A gourmet edible cactus. They must be blemish-free, as even and unbent as possible. The care given to them post-harvest is important also, to preserve as much of the natural quality as possible through what may be thousands of miles of travel. So each layer of grade-A edible cactus is packed with  a layer of tissue paper between to reduce damage the tender plants might cause one another.

 

edible cactus in spring growth

Here is how nicely the plants are now growing out. These cladodes (pads, leaves, nopal) will be fully mature and ready for 'Cinco de Mayo' celebrations as Grade C edible cactus, the grade we most recommend for home and chef use.

edible cactus, nopal plants in the field

Here is a view of some of the rows of edible cactus, their new pads ready to harvest within weeks.