Adam and Reid helping to gather the prolific prickly pear tunas from my neighbor’s road. A group of us are gathering tunas and juicing them for the Preserving Our Heritage: Native Foods Bank and Restoration Project, an intertribal collaborative project co-founded by Barbara Drake and Lorene Sisquoc to promote the gathering, harvesting, preparation, and distribution of native foods, seeds, and plants. The intrepid Adam and Reid are gathering the domesticated Opuntia ficus-indica, which has fewer spines and glochids than the wild variety, which we gathered on Friday with scientists from the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research.

Posted by deborah small


  1. Hi Deborah,

    I have a question about prickly pear fruit. Can you please contact me? Thank you.



  2. Hi Justin,
    Yes, the tongs are terrific. We also use rubber gloves we found at World Market called True Blues, and they come in various colors, but they’re all True Blues. I’m sure you can find them on web. They work with the Opuntia ficus-indica, although I don’t use them on some of the native species in our area that have really long spines and meaner glochids.



  3. The tongs are a great idea! I spend more time picking the glochids out of my hands than I do picking the tunas! I love your blog.



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