Be a Part of the TVR Prickly Pear Harvesting Crew

A package designed to learn, harvest, and process Prickly Pear fruit

Amidst the fully-bloomed desert, Tanque Verde Ranch sits in an abundance of fruit from the Prickly Pear Cacti this time of year. In August, it becomes prime time to harvest these fruits and incorporate them into a variety of recipes at the ranch or home. With our Prickly Pear Harvest Package, it’s more than just a bucket of fruit; it’s a bucket of fun!

We decided to make August 16-19 and August 23rd-26th an opportunity for our guests to partake in the experience. From picking to processing, you will learn the tricks from the pros at the ranch.


We will start with a hike enjoying the views of the Saguaro National Park full of mountains, trails, and wildlife while you search for the perfect Prickly Pear fruit.  Grab your bucket and tongs while our guides escort and teach you everything there is to know about Prickly Pear harvesting throughout the desert. Not only will you see plenty of Prickly Pear cacti, but you will take in the beauty of several different species of cacti and plants. Also, you will be able to harvest in style after you receive a FREE Prickly Pear harvest crew T-shirt at check-in.

The fleshy, small fruits are great to eat raw, made into preserves, or juiced as we will be doing. Being careful during picking is important as we use long tongs to avoid the long needles and glochids, or barbed bristles. We like to pick them when they have a deep dark red color and no green remaining. At this time is when the prickly pears are the sweetest and perfect for harvest.


We will then bring the fruit back to the kitchen to learn and partake in prickly pear processing. The fun continues when you join our Prickly Pear cooking demos with our chefs. You’ll learn how to use Prickly Pear fruit to add zest to your foods and beverages, including our signature Prickly Pear Margarita and Prickly Pear Barbeque sauce.

The Prickly Pear fun aside, you’ll be able to participate in numerous amount of other activities we have available for you to do while you’re not harvesting. When you put the tongs down, you can pick up a set of reigns to adventure on a horseback ride, or unwind and cool down while you sip on a chilled drink at the Dog House Saloon. When nighttime falls adventure to our BBQ cookouts where you can experience a buffet picnic, live music, dancing, dance lessons, and maybe even see a pack of hungry javelinas crawl out from the desert. On your downtime from the Prickly Pear, excursions see this schedule for more activities.

Are you bringing the little ones? They will be having just as much fun as you are whether or not they tag along harvesting or join in on all the action at the supervised children’s program (ages 4-11). We offer riding lessons, lawn games, arts & crafts, and more. The children’s program starts at 6:45 a.m. and typically goes until 3:00 p.m. every day. It is up to you and them on which activities they want to participate in and at what times. See the children’s program schedule here.

The packages for the Prickly Pear Harvest are filling up fast! Be sure to book yours now for the dates of August 17th–31st. Rates start at just $345 per night. Visit our website to find more information. (Rates are based on double occupancy and subject to AZ state sales tax.) Tanque Verde Ranch invites you to take in the surreal beauty of the desert during the prime time for harvesting Prickly Pear cacti. Take home a bucket full of knowledge, memories, and fun, and don’t forget your FREE Prickly Pear harvest crew T-shirt. We can’t wait to see you at the ranch.