A couple of weeks ago Hubby and I watched part of the History channel program about life after the apocalypse. We didn't turn on the TV until part way through the show. The family was in the desert, and already in bad shape. They were walking right past cactus that they could have eaten and sustained themselves quite well. I tried it when I attended Air Force survival school in Texas. It wasn't bad at all. So there were store ads in today's mail, and one of the ads is for a local Hispanic market. They are selling Nopal, which is the leaves of the prickly Pear family of cactus. These are eaten regularly by Hispanics. The fruit of these cactus are really quite delicious too! If you live in an area where cactus grow, don't overlook cactus as a food source. This site has recipes. http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/2163-cooking-with-cactus-nopales-cactus We have a different variety of cactus at our house in the burbs. It always produced huge beautiful flowers about the time the kids started school each September. It was sitting directly in the sun and for years I didn't water it. I dug it up a couple of years ago and moved it to the back yard, where it gets fertilized and occasionally watered. Boy, that thing has really taken off! I noticed that this year it produced fruit! I did a google image search on "cactus fruit" and discovered that what I have is an Asian delicacy called "Dragon Fruit" Mine aren't quite as delicious and sweet as the prickly pear fruit, but I may be able to improve that with proper fertilization, so I'll give that a try. I have been looking at my ranch, and I think I will try to plant some prickly pear in a section of hillside that is on a South facing slope that gets direct sun. Chaparral grows there now, and at the elevations not much lower than us, Prickly pear grows naturally and in abundance.