[permaculture] Mesquite Milling this Saturday

Greg FarmerGreg at UrbanFarm.org
Tue Nov 15 09:34:52 EST 2005


Milling Questions

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 
them.

Greg




>
>
>>  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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-- 

The Urban Farm
Growing good food
Having fun gardening
Connecting with nature


Greg Peterson
http://www.urbanfarm.org
602/565-7045



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