[permaculture] Mesquite Milling this Saturday

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Tue Nov 15 08:17:51 EST 2005

Marjory Glowka wrote:

> 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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