Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mesquite Harvest

The bean pods on our mesquite trees have ripened, turning from a bright lime green to a lovely pale honey color.

These pods can be ground into a sweet and nutritious flour. The flour from the pods contains 20-30% sugars, while the seeds are 35% protein.

Mesquite was a major food source for the local Cahuilla Indians.

They ground the pods into flour using stone mortars and pestles.

We use a blender to grind the pods into flour, but the dark seeds inside are too hard to be affected even by the sharp blades.

There was rain on the morning of the 4th, so we'll wait a couple of days before grinding. Otherwise, the  lingering humidity will make the flour sticky.

While gathering the pods I noticed that second round of flowers is already in bloom on the trees. The picture below also shows the carpet of mesquite pods on the ground below the trees.

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