[permaculture] Mesquite Milling this Saturday
FarmerGreg at UrbanFarm.org
Tue Nov 15 09:34:52 EST 2005
The milling went great for our first one. I followed it up with a
visit to Tucson for their milling and mesquite pancake breakfast.
What a fun time.
The biggest challenge for for putting on a milling is locating a
mill. The one we used was from Tucson. If is a gas powered hammer
Mill. See desertharvesters.org. A steam or hand powered one would
be great, just need to find it.
From 5 gallons of beans we were getting about 1 to 2 gallons of meal.
An very little chaff.
Mesquite beans can be VERY plentiful. Last year I harvested 20
gallons of beans from a tree in a matter of a few minutes. A tree
can put out hundreds of pounds of beans. Mesquite wood is used for
furniture, I suppose it could be used for tool handles.
Mesquite is a desert plant so it is very drought tolerant. Not
allelopathic. A mesquite farm could be feasible, but there is so
much that grows in the wild you may not need to. A hammermill is
suggested as the beans are so hard that the power is needed to mill
>> Hi Greg and all,
>> How did the milling go? I am quite interested in seeing if we could do
>> comething like that here in Central Texas - we've got a lot of mesquite. I
>> bought some meal and have been serving up mesquite meal pancakes to my
>> neighbors to see if I could generate enough interest in pursuing a milling
>> demo or operation here.
>> Is the milling fairly easy to do and not too manual-process oriented? Can
>> the beans come from any variety of mesquite - or are there only some that
>> work well? How much meal can you make from say, a five gallon bucket full
>> of mequite pods? Could the mill be run via a steam engine?
>How about a human powered mill? Use an 18 speed bycycle connected to the
>mill directly or to a gearbox connected by V-belt to it. A steam engine
>is a good idea. Burn the chaff from the milling process plus twigs,
>stems and branches for complete combustion and extraction of max BTU's
>with minimum smoke. When you look at the loads steam locomotives are
>able to move, the power they can unleash is truly amazing.
>A few questions:
>Are mesquite trees plentiful in their natural habitat? Can the wood be
>used as lumber or handles for tools? Is it rot-resistant?
>What plants grow naturally with it and what crops could be grown
>successfully within a grove used for bean production?
>Fertilizing and irrigating the crops would benefit the mesquite
>while it provided some shade. Is it allelopathic? Is it drought
>tolerant? Would a mesquite bean farm be feasable? What kind of mill is
>required to make flour? Can grits be made?
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