Monday, August 6, 2012

My first time picking nopales

Before my family had plenty of yard space we lived in a crumby apartment on 14th street in San Pedro. I written a few stories about that time, so if you like to look back at those days check out my "Tales from 14th Street series"

Not having a yard in the 80s and 90s meant we could not grow our own plants and vegetables. Nopales were also not as abundant in the grocery stores during those days. Mexican foods were around but it was not as accessible. My parents somehow found a "huerta" (orchard) of nopales growing wild on the side of a canyon near Hernandez Ranch and Reina Park in San Pedro. I remember as a kid I would go with my dad once every few weeks to pick nopales from the huerta. My dad was always ready to climb the steep hillside with his pail and knife. I just would stand near the top and watch him cut fresh nopales, but since I was a kid I was not able to do it myself. In 1995 they moved to the house they are currently living in and they didn't need to go to the huerta anymore since they planted nopales here themselves.

I remembered the huerta recently and decided to make a field trip to see how it is today. My parents decided when we got there that they are not in the greatest shape anymore to be climbing the steep hillside so I decided to take the chance.  Here are photos from the trip.

Sign that greets the entrance to nopale canyon
walk way to the nopales behind a quiet neighborhood

trail towards the nopales

view from top of the canyon

Parents trailing behind

The picture does no justice on how steep it is 

Another view from the top

I climbed down the steep embankment its not as easy as it looks

near the bottom of hillside

gully I never noticed at the bottom of canyon it used to be full of trash back in the days

The hurrta was kind of dry but I got a good dozen nopales!

I could not take the espinas off my dad is a pro at that

But I did grill them with olive oil, salt, pepper and chili powder




Anonymous said...

Very cool .

Anonymous said...