Rivenrock Gardens Cactus Blog

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‘The Crossroads’ Shopping Center in Santa Maria California


   Here’s some photos of  ‘The Crossroads’ Shopping Center in Santa Maria California.

   It’s a pretty large shopping area with your usual huge ‘anchor’ stores.

   Ten years ago these areas were all bean fields, or fields uncultivated for years… now it is easy to forget it was once farmland.


   This is a ‘big trip to town’ for us nowadays.

Photo of tortoises eating cactus

A happy customer and her happy tortoises

A happy customer and her happy tortoises

   One of our customers on the East Coast sent us this photo of her daughter feeding cactus they got from us to some of their tortoises.

   They have nine large tortoises, and ten smaller ones.

   It is fun hearing from people how much their torts like the cactus they get from us.

  For anyone who is looking for cactus to eat, do not be put off by photos of tortoises eating our cactus. Our cactus is grown for human consumption….  it is grown and sold for people to eat… but torts love it also. Do  not worry we sell only ‘tortoise grade’ cactus. Our cactus is for people to eat… but since torts like it as well… we’re just happy to sell to them also.

New Tortoise Postcard

New Tortoise Postcard

New Tortoise Postcard

    As part of our spring marketing campaign, we are going to try to sell more cactus to zoos and aquariums that house reptiles and tortoises.

   We thought a postcard that is tailored to that segment of the market would be a good idea (along with a mailing list). So I played around and made this up. Now, I’m no graphics artist or marketing fellow…. so any input from the customer’s perspective would be helpful. If you were a tortoise and happened along this postcard, would you be compelled to order cactus from us?

We put all kinds a critters in Rivenrock Fritters

Newsweek has a great article entitled ‘Head to Hoof: Inside the New Carnivore Movement’.

   It details some ways that consumers and restaurants are trying to buy entire animals, and using it all. Of course, this means an every-changing menu…. you only get so much ham off one pig. But it seems a good way to go. We have a local butcher shop that processes entire animals…. in fact they’ll make some great sausages from your critters too!

Stranger in the house

An interesting story…

        This is very interesting and not the ending I had expected!!!! 

        A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town.  From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family.  The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.  

        As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family.  In my young mind, he had a special niche.  My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.  But the stranger…he was our storyteller.  He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with
        Adventures, mysteries and comedies.  

        If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future!  He took my family to the first major league ball game.  He made me laugh, and he made me cry.  The stranger never stopped  
        Talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.  

        Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)  

        Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.  Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home… Not from us, our friends or any visitors.  Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.  My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol.  But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular
        Basis.  He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.  
        He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex.  His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.  

        I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced   strongly by the stranger.  Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked… And NEVER asked to leave.  

        More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family.  He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first.  Still, if you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

        His name?…. .. .   

        We just call him ‘TV.’

        (Note: This should be required reading for every household in America !)   

        He has a wife now…We call her ‘Computer

The Tortoises LOVE the cactus

   We know that a large number of the buyers of our cactus share it also with their tortoises.  Our Opuntia cactus has what one tortoise owner told me is ‘the perfect balance of Calcium and Phosphorus for good bone and shell development’.

   We had a potential customer ask us if we thought their tortoises would eat our cactus, this is what I wrote them….

   “Some of our customers say their wild-caught torts recognized it immediately and came running when they see what it is… they say captive-hatched torts (who have never eaten cactus) will approach it as a new food, and taste at it until they’ve had a few mouthfuls, then they start digging in. After one or two times, they also recognize the cactus and will raise themselves high to run for it!”

   The people bought a small box of cactus to see how their torts liked it…. here is the e-mail I got from them today…

As you predicted, the Tortoises LOVE the cactus. Mine are all captive breed, so they did not know what it was the first time I put in in with them. Now that they know what it is, they go absolutely bananas over it! I have never seen them act this way over any other food.

Will be ordering more – Mark Klutchko from Michigan- http://www.discountmodels.com/

   It’s very gratifying for us to get these kinds of e-mails… it lets us  know that the plants we raise are doing good for the health of our customers, and their tortoises also!

Art Calendar: A Press Release


Contact: Lauren Marcoux
  Associate Business Manager
  Turnstile Publishing Company
  Phone: (407) 515-2612 x0
  E-Mail: Lmarcoux@artcalendar.com
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Art Calendar Offers Discounted Subscription Price to Art Groups

Orlando, FL- On January 28, 2009, Art Calendar, the business magazine for visual artists, announced it is now offering art groups a discounted subscription rate of $20 per year.
The special discounted rate is 63 percent off of the normal cover price.

This rate is available to members of any existing art council, association, league, alliance, etc.

Dave Trask, Publisher of Art Calendar, said he wanted to offer this special discount to art groups in order to give members the opportunity to learn why the magazine is an important resource.

“Art Calendar is a great investment for artists at any level,” said Trask. “Art Calendar offers practical business advice from industry pros and successful working artists on subjects such as art marketing, art law, portfolio development, exhibition presentation and more. The magazine also includes calls to artists lists each month.”

To purchase the discounted subscription, visit www.artcalendar.com/artgroups. This is a limited time offer available only to the members of art groups.

For more information regarding Art Calendar’s special offers for art groups, please contact Lauren Marcoux, Associate Business Manager, at lmarcoux@artcalendar.com.

About Art Calendar

The foremost business publication for visual artists, Art Calendar assist artists in reaching their career ambitions by serving as the industry’s comprehensive resource for income and exhibition opportunities. Published 11 times a year, each issue of the magazine reaches more than 15,000 artists worldwide. Art Calendar and its Web site, ArtCalendar.com, and social networking Web sites, ArtScuttlebutt.com and CrafterCircle.com, are a part of Turnstile Publishing Company. Turnstile Publishing Company is also the parent corporation of such publications as Golfweek, TurfNet Monthly, The Oviedo/Winter Springs Voice and The Winter Park/Maitland Observer, as well as the Web sites TurfNet.com, SeminoleVoice.com, WPMObserver.com, GolfweekHomes.com and Golfweek.com, which features golf’s first online television network, GolfweekTV. Founded in 1990, Turnstile Publishing Company is headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and is also affiliated with Skyhorse Publishing.

Copies of Art Calendar can be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hastings and other major bookstores. To subscribe to Art Calendar, please visit ArtCalendar.com.


We have all kinds in California



   They say you can’t judge a book by its cover…

   And that goes also for the LA-based performance artist/model/actress Page Turner.

   Although Page looks like some retro-Punk/Goth chick…. she is also a very lucid and engaging person of high educational achievement, clear thinking and athletic ability. Yeah, she does oddball things like swallow swords and spit fire during her Fire Dance performances… but she’s a performer, and gives the audience the show they paid for!

    Page is going to be performing this coming Saturday in a Freak Show in Riverside California.




   Yes… it’s maybe all just a bit much for us folks waaaay back in these hills….

   The piercings, stage performers doing weird things with their bodies…. all the freakshow stuff that will make me cover my eyes (yet peek between my fingers…), yeah, we’d better not go.  I mean, they even warn you not to watch if you  ’have a weak stomach’….

   But we know that with Page’s talents, smarts and just plain old ‘sweetness’, she’s gonna be seen by millions eventually, and she will deserve all the accolades she will get at that time.



The real Page Turner!

Cute Critters

God made all kinds of cuteness….

Too bad we don’t always see the beauty in things before we destroy them.

Her’s a web page devoted to really cute little critters.

New Tax Calculator





   Personally, I like the Fair Tax concept.


  Maybe the President could be persuaded to look into that?