[NAFEX] Prickley Pear/Nopales

Jim Fruth jfruth at uslink.net
Fri Oct 15 10:04:28 EDT 2004

   Re Mark Lee's question about anyone outside of the Southwest who may have
grown prickly pear, I have done so here in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota.
   There are a number of subspecies available, most of which are either
thornless or nearly so.  I obtained some of each from www.rivenrock.com.
Since, obviously, they wouldn't survive a Minnesota winter, I dug each up
and stored them like I would dig and store gladiola bulbs, hoping to plant
them out the following Spring.  Most failed to survive the winter storage
however the wild type, the variety with the wicked thorns did make it and
produced a crop of paddles the following season.
   My days of gardening in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Central
California made me spoiled.  Among other vegetables, I grew and sold
'spineless' nopales for several farmers' markets.  Thorned nopales didn't
sell there and probably wouldn't sell here in Minnesota either so I
curtailed my project when the spineless varieties didn't perform.

Jim Fruth
Pequot Lakes, MN 

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