I was at my neighborhood nursery yesterday and noticed how ripe their prickly pears looked. Feeling brave, I asked if I might be able to harvest some. Without hesitation I was given free reign to harvest as many as I'd like. I was also told to have at it with a peach tree that had lost some limbs due to heavy fruiting.
So this morning I headed over with my gloves and tongs and began the harvest. The fruit on these plants was significantly larger than those from my neighbor. I mean, look at them!
It didn't take long before I'd filled up the containers I'd brought with me and I'd barely made a dent in the number of remaining fruit.
After spending much of the day processing, the juice from the two rectangular containers made 12 half pints of low-sugar jelly and filled 3 ice cube trays with unsweetened juice. I still have the two yogurt containers left but those will have to wait until tomorrow. It's too hot in the kitchen!
I started harvesting peaches, too and this is what I brought home today as it was all that would fit in the pannier with the prickly pears. I can't wait to go back tomorrow and pick some more. I sense some spiced peach jam on the horizon...