50 lbs Grade-D Nopal cactus $1.60 per pound
Once in a while the nopal cactus plants have to be 'pruned' of excess leaves. This is to reduce overcrowding and attendant bending or abrasion by rubbing from overcrowded plants.
This is one of those times that we 'need' to reduce this 'overburdon' of cactus leaves, and to be able to sell them is good for us, and we make it good for our customers also by reducing the price to VERY low levels.
In this case we have nearly an acre of cactus plants (some 4,000 plants) that need to be relieved of excess leaves. The new leaves are starting to grow out, and I want to get these older leaves out of the way so when the nice gourmet harvest begins in two months, we'll have only the best and finest cactus available.
These leaves have been sitting out through the famous cold snap we had in December (where we got down to 28 degrees for a few nights). They withstood the semi-storms of the baby El-Nino that gave us a decent amount of rain from December through January. They took the brunt of the wind from the semi-Pacific sea near us..... in short, they are not ideal leaves. they have been bent, spindled, folded stapled and mutilated.... compared to our gourmet leaves. BUT, they are organic, they are safe and food grade (although many will need more trimming).... they are decent for soups and stews... since we pick AL f the leaves off that are not good for the plants, we get a mix of grades. Some are halfway decent... many will not be even as good as the 'regular' grade-D we usually sell.
But the price is good..... $1.60 per pound, plus shipping for a fifty pound lot and $7 for box handling charge... 60 lbs. shipping weight....
We pack these in somewhat pricey double wall cardboard boxes, sealed with much packing tape to hold it securely. We pack two 15 X 15 X 5" boxes with as much cactus as they will hold... about 17 to 20 lbs. Then we pack these two into the larger 16 X 16 X 16" boxes, and fill the last 5 inches (or so) with cactus until the total weight comes to 59 pounds and some ounces, considered 60 lbs by Fed Ex.
The website will configure your Fed-Ex shipping charges, and charge that amount. We add $7 for the box costs.
Here's one of the 15 by 15 by 5 inch boxes, packed with about twenty pounds of cactus.
Two of the twenty lb boxes are set into the 16 by 16 by 16 inch thick wall cardboard box.
After the two smaller boxes are in the large box, we add as much extra cactus as the box will take without crush it all.
You can see that the leaves are many grades sizes and styles. In this case, we are just roaming through the cactus garden, removing almost any leaf that serves no good for the structure of the plant. So, we want to make them much cheaper.
Here are two of the smaller interior boxes, side by side...
Expect five to fifteen days before actual receipt of the cactus, due to weather and other factors that are common to agriculture.