I love the Fall colors at High Hope! I’ve come to think of the “Leaf Peeper” forest brilliance of Vermont and Michigan with the blinding yellow, red and orange as Fall for the uncommitted! Here, we have to commit to recognizing the mahogany red of the Spanish Oak and Flame-leaf sumac, the fleeting purple of the Eryngo, the unexpected purple berries of the American Beauty Berry. I’ve learned to see the brown grasses as the sign that they are rebirthing in the form of seed dispersal.
My favorite early Fall color though has to be the magenta fruit of the Prickly Pear! I never thought of them as food until a friend from Arizona visited, he looked around and said, “Why aren’t you doing anything with all of these beautiful fruits?” A few Google searches later and I now enjoy Prickly Pear limeade, grapefruit juice and margarita mix yearly!
Fortunately, Fossil Rim’s new chef, Kelley Stephan, shares the same passion! Together with Fossil Rim’s education class, we’ve created a High Hope Citizenship/Guest Prickly Pear Palooza, starting Saturday evening, September 12th with a choice of Prickly Pear inspired Dinner at Fossil Rim and/or Star Gazing at High Hope with a ‘mocktail’, and a Sunday morning hike to collect the fruit (called a tuna!), learn more about the awesome things we can get from the pears, juice some to take home, dye something with cochineal powder, and enjoy a Prickly Pear inspired Lunch. Click here for details.