Friday afternoons in the summer usually find some local food purveyors setting up shop on the porch in the Ghost Town – the alternate location for buying local when the Community Garden Farmers Market is not in session. Depending on what’s in season or what someone feels like making that week, you could find anything from fresh spinach or chard to homemade carrot cake to local honey. It’s the place to go to shop local and to discuss such topics as gardening, raising chickens, baking, or just about anything else. This afternoon’s topic was growing Malabar Spinach and the shopping selections included fresh eggs and mung bean sprouts along with Pitaya Ice Cream, a very special summer treat.
Every region has it’s wild foods. Appalachia has it’s ramps, and in Terlingua we have Pitayas. The fruit of the Pitaya Cactus, they taste like a cross between a strawberry and a kiwi, and they’re absolutely delicious – if you can beat the javelinas and birds to them. So when word went out that one of our locals had obtained some pitayas and made them into ice cream that she would be selling this afternoon, the crowds gathered. The treat didn’t last long, but while it did it was a sweet taste of summer in the desert.