Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Sep 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Festival de Nopal

foodie cactusCould cactus be the food (and energy) of the future?

Manfred Warmuth has been growing cacti for about ten years at his house on Santa Cruz’s upper Westside. He loves sharing his nopales, or pads from the Opuntia cactus, with the community at the Festival de Nopal, which takes place downtown and celebrates its fifth year this weekend. With climate change on its way, Warmuth says, people will need to grow different produce, like cacti, that can survive in hotter, drier climates.

“I like foods that take care of themselves,” says Warmuth, a UCSC computer science professor and native of Germany. “You just plant, and you only harvest, and you hardly have to water. The main thing is the cultural problem. You have to educate people how to use it.”

GT: So, how do you cook with nopales?

Manfred Warmuth: Anything you do with a cucumber or zucchini. I don’t like recipes, but you can make stews. You put it in soup. It gives it a creamy texture because it’s slimy, but if you do it in the right amount, it’s really good. The classical Mexican one is to fry it with onions, or to add eggs to it for breakfast.

This cactus plant is huge. Was it on the property when you moved in?

No, it grows very fast. With the right conditions it’s one of the plants that produces the most biomass. They want to use it and agave also for growing biofuel. It’s a very, very powerful plant.

What do you want for the festival in future years?

We want to move the festival one parking lot over and make it bigger, and then we can actually have a tent for teaching.

Are your plants organic?

What do you mean? Organic in America is a joke. One of the most stringent organic requirements is the California system, and they allow you to use blood meal, bone meal, any amount of stuff from the outside. Actually, it’s a big problem for the world—the American organics because the international organics have to compete with it. I have a brother who is a German farmer. Over there, some regulations force them to do green manuring. None in the U.S. force green manuring. Everything is beautiful if you look at it from a distance. If you know a little bit, it’s a mess.


INFO: July 27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 176 Lincoln St., Santa Cruz, Free.

Comments (1)Add Comment
organic
written by cactacea.sesimbra, July 25, 2014
As we travel for the xxii sec. we need to be fair with ourselfs thinking on future! Cactus or opuntia is realy easy to be organic ! if you give this plant just a bit of any kind manuring the plant give you back a lot and health! just try it!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.