15 Feb '12, 9am

Garden Rant: It's Not Gardening, It's Cactomania

Garden Rant: It's Not Gardening, It's Cactomania

The ethno-botanical history of cactus is deliciously culinary. It is full of marvelously tasty but strangely packaged fruit absent from the produce aisles of the First World: hedgehog cactus fruits are encased in a web of spines that magically fall off when the fruit is ripe, revealing a strawberry-like nugget; the whortleberry, whose grape-sized fruit has the acid-sweet zing of a cranberry-blueberry cross; the organ pipe, whose golf-ball sized gems are said to be the tastiest of all cactus. The organ pipe’s fruit are eaten fresh, and turned into wine by the native Seri in a wild bacchanalia celebrating their New Year. The organ pipe fruit, which is full of tiny seeds, is so prized that the Seri historically enjoyed it twice—picking through their own feces to reclaim the nutty high-fat seeds in a “second harvest.” This is not a practice I recommend for the home gardener, b...

Full article: http://www.gardenrant.com/my_weblog/2012/02/its-not-garde...

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