Westside farmers experiment with prickly pear cactus fruit

October 25, 2013 5:55:21 AM PDT
Plant breeders in Fresno County say they are experimenting with the "prickly pear cactus."

Growers say the fruit from the cactus can be eaten, and its pulp and juice can be used to make jams, jellies, and other products. They can also grow in harsh soil with limited water. That's why researchers are now experimenting with growing the cactus in the western San Joaquin Valley.

Plant breeders say the work has shown enough promise to warrant four new patents on cultivated cactus varieties.