The bahidaj harvest heralds the Sonoran Desert New Year, a time of celebration and prayers for rain by the First People here–the Tohono O’odham who keep traditions actively benefitting all.
Tia Marta here to share ideas for bringing bahidaj from your own yard or desert landscape to your table and taste buds.
Toward the end of the saguaro harvest season–before monsoon rains arrive–many fruits will drop from cactus tips and hang to dry in the branches of their palo verde nurse trees. My mentor Tohono O’odham Elder Juanita Ahil called these sweet crunchy delicacies chuñ (pronounced choooñ.) You can pick them right from the tree branches to eat as a snack like dried figs, or take them home for serving in desserts or–tah-dah– in Tia Marta’s Sonoran Plant-Power Treats!
Partnered with other high-energy desert seeds and fruits, we can store the bahidaj’s potential energy for future muscle-action. Long ago my son got excited about my desert energy-bar inventions and wanted me to go into business, repeating Petey Mesquitey’s mantra, “We’re gonna be rich!” Here–so YOU can be rich in your appreciation of desert gifts– are the steps for making my Sonoran Plant-Power Treats. (Just remember when you start production and make your million, this is copyrighted):
Of course, to make your own Sonoran Plant-Power Treats, you can try any variation or combination of these delectable ingredients from the desert’s erratic bounty.
As you add each one, name it with the grace of gratitude. The plants need to hear our appreciation.
2 thoughts on “Sonoran Plant-Power Treats”
Interesting, Tony, there are many cactus fruits from the Southwest of NorthAmerican down thru South America that might have similar fruits and many of them have an edible, even sweet fruit like the giant saguaro. Which coast were you referring to? Organpipe cactus fruit and pitaya agria fruit from Sonoran Deserts coasts are also fabulous. To identify them I recommend that you check out from the library these books: Yetman’s The Great Cacti: Ethnobotany and Biogeography and also Roberts’ Baja California Plant Field Guide. Happy harvesting!
I sort of wondered about these. I do not see them very often, since they do not grow here. When I was in school, we got some sort of similar fruit while it was still plump and fresh. However, I do not know if the big cactus was of the same species. It was big and looked just like it, but it was in a region near the coast where I would not expect a saguaro to do so well.