Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mesquite Beans

I had another very productive day outside yesterday. It was very humid, but also much cooler, and it was a perfect summer day for yard work.

I spent some time collecting the beans that had fallen from my mesquite trees.

These beans can be milled into delicious flour and used for "cookies, breads, breading for meats, as a seasoning and in drinks like protein powder."

Phoenix Permaculture Guild have an annual Mesquite Bean Milling Get Together each year for this purpose.

To get beans suitable for milling, one has to be organized enough to collect the beans straight from the tree, or actively shake them from the trees and collect them immediately afterwards. Of course I have not managed to do this yet although each year I aspire to do so. Usually by time I think of it they are already spread all over the yard, and by this time they can't be used for flour.

The second best thing to use them for other than flour I think is compost. I had an entire bin full of mesquite beans from last summer that made great compost which I spread on the garden yesterday. At least they aren't going entirely to waste, and they are going back into the earth to play a valuable role in food production for my family.

I am ready today to sow my summer squash seeds. It feels so good to be back outside playing in the earth again. I hadn't realized how much I have missed it throughout this summer. I already feel a wonderful sense of fulfillment, and am energized all over again.


Amy said...

Interesting mesquite tree fact! Who knew!?!? Have you ever tasted any of the foods made from mesquite bean flour??

Mo said...

You know I haven't Amy. They were used for many millenia as a staple in Native American cooking. I am DETERMINED to actually gather them next year and mill them. I believe the flour is slightly sweet and delicious. Imagine making and using one's own flour, how amazing would that be!