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Harvesting Prickly Pear Fruit

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Harvesting Prickly Pear Fruit

There is a vitamin rich treat waiting for you within the thorny exterior of the abundant and colorful prickly pear cactus.  When the desert is full of the gorgeous magenta fruit shown in this picture (usually in late summer), it means they are ready to be harvested. 

To harvest, use metal tongs and gently twist to remove fruit from the plant when it is at its deep, magenta ripeness peak.  You can usually tell when it is ripe enough to be harvested when the birds begin to feast on it or the fruit drops to the ground.  If the fruit is still green where it attaches to the pad, it is not quite ready to harvest. 

Once you have twisted the fruit from the plant, drop it into a large pail.  Do not touch the fruit without gloves and use caution when picking and handling the fruit, especially on a windy day.  The small short reddish stickers (glochids) can easily become airborne and land on you and stick in your skin, or worse, get into your eyes. 

Be sure to gather prickly pear from your own property or with the permission of the property owner.  It is illegal illegal to gather plants, fruit, seeds or plant parts from City, County, State or Federal lands or public roadways without written permission. Always be a good citizen of mother nature's generosity by leaving some of the fruit for the animals, as they need food too.  

Once you've removed the fruit rinse off the dirt and discard any damaged or diseased parts.  Then use the tongs to load a batch into your blender. Process until liquefied and pour about 3/4 tbs. of the liquid mixture into a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth that has been placed over a large bowl. This will strain out all of the seeds and stickers and you will have a prickly pear juice that can be used or frozen for drinks, sauces, syrups, jellies, etc. Toss the pulp in your compost pile.  Be sure to refrigerate the juice immediately after straining. 

Another method to cut and prepare Prickly Pears is offered by Garret McCord:

How to Cut and Prepare Prickly Pears

1 Slice both ends of the prickly pear off. Discard them.

prickly-pear-1.jpg prickly-pear-2.jpg

2 Make one long vertical slice down the body of the prickly pear.

prickly-pear-3.jpg prickly-pear-4.jpg

3 Slip your finger into the slice and grab a hold of the skin.

4 Begin to peel back the thick fleshy skin that's wrapped around the prickly pear. Discard the skin. You'll be left with the prickly pear itself. The flesh is studded with tons of little edible seeds, if you like them, feel free to just chop the prickly pear up and eat, seeds and all.

I myself prefer just the juice. To extract the juice, place the "husked" prickly pears into a blender or food processor and pulse until liquefied. Place the juice into a fine mesh sieve and push out the juice into a pitcher or bowl. Discard the remaining pulp and seeds.

Use the juice as you like. About four prickly pears will get you about 1 cup of juice. It's great mixed in with some fresh lemonade, just use equal parts of prickly pear juice to lemonade.

If you have a delicious prickly pear fruit recipe to share with us, please fill out the form below as I'd love to hear what you like doing with this Southwest delicacy. 

Inspire Buyers To Choose YOUR House

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Green Valley Arizona Real EstateIt is no easy task getting your home sold in a "buyer's market" but it can be done, even in a down market, in record time and for top dollar by "inspiring" buyers to choose your house.  Here's 3 tips for making that happen:

  1. Choose the BEST agent.  I can't tell you how many times I hear, "I hired a friend who is a real estate agent", "I hired my agent because they go to my church" or something similar.  Don't get me wrong, that's good move if you've done the research and determined they are the BEST agent.  However, more often than not my Sellers tell me that isn't the case.  My advice is that you interview at least 3 agents and ask each of them these 6 pertient questions.

  2. Use Your Agent's Expertise To YOUR Advantage.  Once Inspire Buyers To Buy YOUR Houseyou've selected the best, then use their expertise to get your home sold in record time and for top dollar.  Listen to their advice when it comes to pricing your home and positioning it in the market.  Resist the temptation to overprice your home and instead, using your agent's guidance, price it competitively so that it will be the next sale in your neighborhood.  A new listing on the market has an opportunity to make a big splash but it will definitely belly flop if it shows badly or is overpriced. 

  3. Put On Your Buyer's Hat.  Take a look at how your house stacks up marketing wise against others in your area--go out and find it on the top public real estate sites like Trulia,, and Zillow.  Your listing should have at least 20 to 25 HIGH QUALITY pictures, and an ENGAGING Virtual Tour:

    Your Buyer audience wants to be entertained while house shopping on the Internet and nothing will turn them off faster than poor quality, badly lit pictures.  A well done description is also a plus but most buyers will look at the pictures first and won't even bother to read the description unless they are inspired to do so. 

Are you thinking about selling your Green Valley, Arizona home?  Begin with a free, no obligation comparative market analysis.  Or give me a call at 520-241-7780.

I would love to show you the power of my proven marketing plan that heavily focuses on leveraging today's digital age to successfully sell homes by inspiring buyers to choose YOUR listing.

         JUDI MONDAY, CRS         


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Green Valley Community Performing Arts Center Lives On

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

After announcing it would have to close its doors on June 30,2011 due to financial woes, the Green Valley Community Performing Arts Center has just published its summer 2011 schedule after supporters pledged nearly $60,000 to keep it open. 

The Community Performing Arts Center, located in Green Valley, Arizona, offers a first class entertainment venue.  Owned by Pima County it is operated by the Community Performing Arts Center Foundation

A magnificent, comfortable setting, a knowledgeable staff and superb entertainment create the gratifying experience that audiences and performers enjoy when they visit the “Jewel of the Desert” at the Community Performing Arts Center.

Support Green Valley's top notch entertainment venue by attending its outstanding summer program: 

Green Valley Community Performing Arts Center

”An Evening of Sinatra” with ALLAN RIDING QUARTET featuring JOEY LESSA

Green Valley favorites, Allan Riding and Joey Lessa, perform a medley of Sinatra’s all-time favorites!

Wednesday, July 13 at 7:00 PM

Tickets are $10



JOE BOURNES ”A Night at the Oscars”

Sit back and enjoy as Joe takes a nostalgic look back at Oscar winning songs.

Tuesday, July 26 at 7:00 PM

Tickets are $10



Armed with only a bag of props, some quick wits and audience suggestions, Laughing Stock takes you on a laugh-filled ride with their unique blend of improvisational humor. A great way to stay cool this summer!

Tuesday, August 2 at 7:00 PM

Tickets are $10


These middle and high school students will be in top form for a wonderful night of Ellington. Having won numerous honors and prizes as the best Ellington band in the USA, you will surly be mesmerized! All ticket sales go towards music scholarships.

Wednesday, August 10 at 7:00 PM

Tickets are $10


Heather is one of southern Arizona’s most popular performers. Enjoy an evening of pop mixed with jazzy blues!

Tuesday, August 23 at 7:00 PM

Tickets are $10


Green Valley, Arizona's Performing Arts Center is just one of countless reasons  people love calling Green Valley home.  Interested in finding out more about this one of a kind active retirement community?   Give Judi a call today at 520-241-7780 or search Green Valley Arizona homes for sale.

       JUDI MONDAY, CRS         


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Green Valley, AZ June 2011 Real Estate Statistics

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

June 2011 was a month for the history books as Arizona battled one of the worst wildfire seasons in its history.  Despite the major fires raging throughout the state, real estate sales remained almost on par with May's numbers--62 sales in June as compared to 67 in May.  Interstingly, the number of sales year to date for 2011 are identical to the same time period in 2010 at 499. 

The average selling price YTD continues to bump along.  Despite a dip in June, it remains consistent with 2010, providing a glimmer of hope that the market is stablizing: 


JANUARY 2011     $162,340
FEBRUARY 2011 $164,457
MARCH 2011


APRIL 2011


May 2011 $175,595
June 2011 $165,340


JANUARY 2010 $157,727
FEBRUARY 2010 $163,604
MARCH 2010 $158,559
APRIL 2010 $162,666
MAY 2010 $178,462
JUNE 2010 $165,693
JULY 2010 $167,056
AUGUST 2010 $167,884
SEPTEMBER 2010 $167,543


DECEMBER 2010 $168,477

The breakdown for the active residential listings as of June 30, 2011 were as follows:

Green Valley

(includes Quail Creek & surrounding subdivisions)



(includes subdivisions N of Duval Mine Road & Duval Mine Rd.



(includes Elephant Head, Amado, Aravaca, Montana Vista & Lakewood)



(includes Vail, Curley, Horn Ranch, Ocotillo Ranch, etc)





62 homes were sold in June 2011 as compared to 67 in May 2011.  The breakdown, by area, for those sales were as follows:

GREEN VALLEY                                                51



Following is the 2010 to 2011 year-to-date comparison for the time period of January 1 through June 30, 2011:

  2010 2011
Houses Sold 499 499
Days On Market 171 177
Average Selling Price $165,693 $165,340
Median Price $150,000 $147,000


          JUDI MONDAY, CRS         


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Judi Monday
RE/MAX Valley Properties In Green Valley, AZ
210 West Continental Road
Green Valley AZ 85622
Direct: (520) 241-7780
Fax: (520) 648-2221