The Cactus Patch
October 2019

A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

Stephen Cooley had given me a small plant of Moringa oleifera, the horse radish tree, which I then planted in our front yard.† I had grown this tree in Botswana and felt it was suitable for Bakersfield.† It is an important caudiciform as it has edible leaves which have more complete protein than other plants.† During the winter I covered it every time there was a freeze.† None the less it slowly died back and I thought I had lost it.† Then in September I noticed a new branch with leaves growing from the base!

On the 24th of August we went with John to a soul food festival out by the fairgrounds.† It was disappointing both in food and entertainment and was over-priced. (We learned we could have bought cheaper tickets in advance, but had had no notice of this.)† For Soul Food I still recommend Jackís Nest in New York.

Next day we celebrated the birthday of our nephew Joshua.† In addition to a giant cookie labeled Joshua, we had a shark made from a water melon and a train of bell peppers with cucumber wheels.† (These last two were left from a babyís birthday party which we werenít at).

On 1st Sept. we drove south of Pear Blossom to a county park in the hills called the Devilís Punchbowl.† This has a rocky section of the San Andreas Fault.† It was nicely laid out and there was a small museum, but it was altogether too hot.† There was a grove of pines with picnic tables so we had a pleasant (if warm) lunch.† [John had suggested Sequoia, but Polly had wanted to use her birthday voucher for Claim Jumpers, so I searched and found the Punchbowl.]

After lunch we drove over to Claim Jumpers in Valencia, stopping to see the Vasquez Rocks where many movies have been shot.† At Claim Jumpers Polly found her birthday voucher was discontinued, but they honored it any way as it was on her phone.† On Labor Day we rested.

We did not go to Fresno for the CSS meeting.† It was a membersí plant sale.

On the 8th the family had lunch at the new India Bistro at the south end of town.† We all overate and the goat was especially good.

On the 10th we heard J.D. Wikert.† It was a very broad topic and although he did his best, it was too much to cover in a short talk.

On the 11th I went back to Mercy Hospital and had prostate surgery. It went well and I was released next day.† I heard they used a robot, but was disappointed to find it wasnít R2D2.† I am trying to relax and recover, but I find it difficult.

On the 13th we saw the first film of the Flix season, The Guilty, but found it slow and disappointing.

On the 15th we took a few plants for the BCSS exhibit at the Fair.† It looks like another good year, but the plants up for judging are mostly poor and a lot of them placed in the wrong category. (A mesemb is not a cactus!)† An exception, of course is the beautiful cactus which won the BCSS award.† We returned to the fair on the 20th which was free for seniors.

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