Rivenrock Gardens Cactus Blog

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Totally Great Customer Endorsement

    We are super-lucky having the great customers and associates we do have. We provide a (usually) very high quality product that we’re really proud of.

   Many of our customers send us comments letting us know what they think of our cactus. With only a few exceptions (everyone has those I suppose) we have VERY high remarks from customers as to our quality.

    We have a  customer in Texas (a place where they KNOW cactus) who has been getting our monthly subscription service (that gives a monthly five pound box of cactus) for some time.  Recently he decided that he needed to get his cactus more often than once a month… so he’s signed up for a second monthly subscription set to a half month afterwards…. that way he will get a five pound box of cactus every two weeks.  He had some comments about our cactus that I thought was so positive I needed to use it for a testimonial. I wrote and asked if I may use his words and name… he wrote me back with affirmation. You can read both here….

“I use the cactus for my two leopard tortoises.
I give them 2-3 leaves every day.
I hate when I run out and have to buy some at the grocery store.
The difference in quality is quite drastic.
Keep up the good work!!!!!”

And the affirmation…

“You can use my comments / endorsement however you want.
It’s SOOOO true.
Whenever your package arrives the first thing I do is throw away
whatever cactus I bought at the grocery store to make room for yours.
I almost feel guilty feeding my tortoises some of the substandard local stuff
I’m forced to resort to – since I’m sure they’re “hooked” on yours.”

Mark M.

   Thanks for being a great customer Mark!



Happy Tortoises!


  A customer wrote us to let us know how much she and her tortoises like our cactus.

   “Thank you for the great box of cactus leaves.  Happy Tortoises!!!  These are so nice, tender, and crunchy that they will have to share with me!

   Thanks for the recipe ideas.  One of my favorites is cold, raw, cut into strips and dipped into chunky blue cheese dressing.
   I was actually able to grow several nice plants from last year, but we had the first hard freeze in 15 years, so only the ones closest to my house survived and the leaves aren’t big enough yet for hungry torts.
   I really enjoy the photos of Rivenrock on your website.  It looks like you live in paradise.”

  Thanks Patty for sharing our cactus with your torts. We’re happy you all like it… and yes, we do live in a very lovely spot :-)

My leopard tortoises absolutely love the cactus

We had a short time in winter that we had no cactus to sell… here’s what one new customer had to say….

“Hi Folks, last month I purchased a 5lb. box of grade “D” cactus from you for my tortoises.  They love it!…I went back to the website and it says you don’t have grade “D” at the moment.  When will you be getting it in?  I would like to order more. …My leopard tortoises absolutely love the cactus and it is imperative for their balanced diets.  Your prices are exceptional too.”   C.F.


   Luckily, we’ll have cactus available within a week… the plants are going through their re-growth and are putting out good leaves.  Sadly there’s always a month in which the supply is very low…  this is part of the reason for our newsletter.. it enables us to keep our customers informed as the the availability of cactus.   P.S. the majority of our sales are for human consumption… but it seems it is the tortoise owners who write the most expressing their happiness with our cactus…. but do know, we grow these leaves and sell them for human consumption… it just happens that they are the favored food for tortoises also. 




I will appreciate the thornless robusta plant

   Most folks who get our cactus are pretty pleased with it. We enjoy getting positive comments… it keeps us and the cactus happy!

   Here’s a letter from some folks who purchased leaves for planting, and some for eating, as well as the cactus fruits (called ‘tuna‘ in Spanish) that we were selling until the season recently ended.


John and Vickie,

Thanks for the huge cactus pads!

And thanks for the tuna fruits! The orange tuna were delicious, even the rinds were good. The robusta fruit was pleasant and similar to some of the wild thorny cactuses I sampled this summer. I will appreciate the thornless robusta plant (!) and look forward to the nopales and to finding ways to use the fruits.


Customer Comments

  We like getting e-mails from customers letting us know how much they like the cactus we send them.

  Some of our customers not only eat the cactus, they also share it with some of their pets, such as tortoises, iguanas and parrots.   Since cactus is so good for humans, I suppose herbivorous and omnivorous animals would be helped by it also.  One thing I’ve heard over and over is how much animals are unrestrained in their appreciation for cactus.  Here’s a few recent comments from customers…..


“Our cactus order arrived and it is beautiful. Cactus is Shelldin’s favorite food. We’ll keep in touch.”
T. ‘On an Island’


 ”I just recently ordered 5lb box of your cactus and it just arrived today.
 You have very fast service and I will be buying my cactus from you in the future.”

And then later…

“Sure you can use my comment, Also i did purchase the Grade D, and like
your website said it doesn’t look that bad at all.  Already gave some to
the tortoise and he loves it.

I read up on how to store it, Thanks.

Look forward to ordering with you in the future.”



“You have excellent cactus AND customer service!  I hope I live up to the scale you set!

We really LOVE everything you sent us!  I just made ‘Gulasch’ yesterday

I always have put leaves in the salad and serve the fruits as
dessert and we love all of them raw too!  What’s not to love about cacti?
(Thanks for removing the spines :-) )

I am also trying to dehydrate the leaves, it takes quite a while at the
temperatures raw people prefer.  The fruits almost dry faster and must be a
treat to everybody on this world even dehydrated (nothing beats fresh – how
I envy you!)..  Did you ever try to freeze fresh leaves?


I will be back with an order soon.


Thank you so much for sharing your amazing food with us!

 H. in Calif


(Note from John, the leaves can be chopped, laid on a cookie sheet and frozen, then put into a bag to store. But they reconstitute mushy and unattractive…. but if they are put into a burrito anyway no one will know… or if fed to tortoises, they will still eat them with gusto, but they do prefer fresh)


“I actually only order the half pound because I feed it to my baby tortoise, Bodhi. It the perfect size for him because he’s so tiny that if I give it to him every day as part of his meal he finishes off the half pound just before it starts to go bad.  Any larger quantity would go to waste. In the future I’d like to get some more tortoises though, and when I do I will order the larger quantities.

   Your cactus is by far Bodhi’s favorite thing to eat – I have to chop it up really small so that the grasses and weeds that I feed him in a salad stick to it, otherwise he actually digs through the dish to pick out only the cactus!  
Thanks again!”

Louie likes the cactus fruit

   This is a posting from a reptile forum.  We know it is our fruit mentioned….
Louie is a tortoise… it is said that cactus is the ‘most perfect food’ for them.

We grow it for humans, but whatever…
   We smile thinking of torts big and small around the country eating our cactus.
Iguanas too, and parrots.

” bought Louie a cactus fruit yesterday (ty D). At first I was a little
worried that he wouldn’t like it, but I figured he likes the cactus pads, so
I’d give it a shot.

I was totally not expecting the reaction I got, it actually frightened me
for a sec, LOL. Louie took a lick at first, then WOW! he just dived right in
the bowl and ate it all. He was shaking and moving around and half whipping,
he was so excited!

I know it’s something so simple and small, but I know that Louie has never
had these types of foods before, knowing how his past “owners”-if you can
call them that, treated and what they fed him (lettuce *gasp*). These little
moments make my mama heart happy

Looks like I’ll be going in at least once a week for more Can you keep a
stockpile for me Drew? LMAO”

I will be buying my cactus from you

Letters like this from our customers is ALWAYS welcome ;-)


    I just recently ordered a 5lb box of your cactus and it just arrived today.
You have very fast service and I will be buying my cactus from you in the
 future.  I was wondering what is the best way to store the cactus, I am
 using it for tortoise food and he will only go through about a pad every
 1.5 weeks.  Is there a way to store the rest so that it will last me a
 couple months?

   I wrote back….

 Hello J,
   We pick depending on the orders that come in and weather, usually most
 orders for fresh leaves go out within three to five days, but in the winter
 storms give us headaches, and sometimes we have to wait over a week to
 pick.. we have to wait until the plants are dry to pick.

    We’re glad you like the cactus. In general the older more mature Grade D
 leaves work best for storing. The grade A and B are gourmet quality for
 humans, and the Grade C is good for kitchens and restaurants… Grade D
 sounds terrible, but for most tort owners it is the best option… older
 tougher leaves have more fiber and store longer due to a thicker skin coating.
    Our blog  page with this storage info is at

    by the way, may I use your comments in our customer testimonials page at
 http://www.nopalcactusblog.com/category/customer-testimonial/ ?  I’ll leave
 your name out and put your initials only…


  His reply…

Hi John,

Sure you can use my comment, Also I did purchase the Grade D, and like
your website said it doesn’t look that bad at all.  Already gave some to
the tortoise and he loves it.

I read up on how to store it, Thanks.

Look forward to ordering with you in the future.


Customer Testimonial

   I googled ‘pages that link to rivenrock.com” to see who has links to us. I found one page where the folks said… “We have had very good luck buying bulk quantities from Rivenrock.com. They have kept very well in a cool room in the basement for months. ” Tim & Robin

  We like doing the things we do… the people we’re able to send good cactus to. It’s a great deal of fun to find sucha  great unsolicited endorsement.

Cactus to England?

We got an e-mail from someone in England who tells us…

     Just wanted to make sure . . . you don’t ship outside North America, is that correct?  If not, would you consider shipping to England for a charge?  I’d be happy to pay whatever postal fee is necessary.
     I ask because I’ve been looking for a new source of cactus for salsa since the only exotic foods company I know of that sold nopalitos here in England discontinued them (because they didn’t advertise it, and I was about the only person in the whole country buying the stuff).  I really need to find a new source of cactus, because it’s extremely good for any digestive problems that crop up, including IBS.  Plus, my cactus salsa is extremely popular with several people over here, and I may need to place regular orders.  Crossing my fingers, I remain
                    Yours sincerely, Nigel”

  My (long-winded) response….

Howdy Nigel, (that’s a cool name, one us US folks only hear on TV program worn by a real Brit!).


   It’s tough shipping cactus around due to the complex laws and such….

  generally there is a ‘phytosanitary’ report that must by done by our Ag officials to ensure your officials there are no bugs on the leaves.

  We’ve been able to get a blanket approval to ship to Canada due to the low risk of our plants… and all the licenses showing we conform to standards.

   It might be we could do something like that with you if we’re lucky…. because the phyto costs me $65 for each report, and it must be done for each shipment.  Also, we have to drive the leaves to the town with the ag dept and show them to the officials, it’s a 20 mile drive just to get there…. so we charge $100 for the report to cover gas and time…..


   Now, the fellow in Canada who bought from us and took it into Canada over the border got with his officials, showed them our licenses at www.rivenrock.com/licenses.html including the protected plant permit etc. They saw that our leaves are pretty smooth and easy to see any infestation, he went through all the hoops, permits and approvals… and now we have a blanket approval to ship to him alone with no phyto required.


   I know what you mean about the salsa, it’s good stuff. I bet you’d like our leaves better than what you got before.


  Where were the other leaves coming from?  I hate to negatively impact my business, but are there any available from a Mediterranean country?… all places I think would be able to grow cactus well.


 What I’d really like is someone in EU who wants to buy our cactus in bulk, and have his own business reselling it in EU like the Canadian fellow does. Perhaps one box every now and then as he builds the business… then two at a time… I’m in no rush… but it would be nice to have market potential in EU.


   In fact, our leaves are so VERY good and easy to clean, and delightfully tasty and crunchy that I think you’ll be blown away. It could be there’d be market potential there if the market gets developed by someone.


  Buying leaves from us in this way… we’d give you some pretty good pricing (of course it’d not overtake the horrendous shipping costs)…..we think if someone is working to develop a virgin market (hard to do), they deserve some consideration with the price.



   So, perhaps the first thing to do is to ask your local Ag officials what they think…. perhaps they can direct you to the ‘Big Boys’ in government who would be inspecting it upon arrival. If they see our website, and our certifications and such, they might like the idea enough to give you some consideration.


   I know it is a hassle…. but moving bugs from country to country is not anything one wants to do, the monetary and environmental impact of creatures moving across continents is horrendous (we deal with this all the time in the US), and our county is about to be quarantined due to a particular foreign moth found forty miles form here. We’re exempt from the quarantine due to absence of the moth when they inspected a few days ago…. but knowing the problems it causes…. I want to make sure we do everything legally and correctly so we aren’t the locus of some new bug that devastates Europe! I mean, us Amis have enough people mad at us without sending noxious insects to you good folks…..


  I’ll put this conversation up on our blog, perhaps someone who has the perfect answer will see it and give us help. Also, I’ll refer our own ag officials to it so they can refer us to the appropriate officials in England.   They are helpful and want to help local growers sell, they just want to make sure the people do it properly and don’t cause any problems. So if you don’t know who to contact there… I will likely have some names and numbers you can call and ask for help…. so that you’ll have a place to start.


   I’m glad you like cactus…. I’d like to supply cactus to the EU… and our organic certifications are good for EU… so it’s considered organic by law.



  Thank you for your inquiry.




   Yeah, shipping to england would be pretty cool.

A Mention On Twitter

   Someone mentioned us on Twitter yesterday…

on the list today: Order Cactus for Sherman (our sulcata). @RivenCactus with amazing cactus and prices is my go to supplier”


10lbs of cactus headed to my house.  Sherm is going to be so happy”

  We’ve got pretty good relations with many of our customers.  We enjoy getting positive feedback from folks… we like learning when they enjoy our cactus. We also like to get suggestions as to packaging, marketing suggestions, etc.  It is through the advice of folks who know that we learn so much more.  Thank you all.

  You can find us on Twitter at    @RivenCactus