Monday, September 22, 2014

MESQUITE BEAN POD HARVESTING

For those curious about the mesquite tree here are two links:

This is the WIKI LINK

This is the TEXAS ALMANAC LINK

Mesquite bean pods on a tree
It was mesquite bean pod harvesting day a couple weekends ago and I realized I hadn't posted about it yet.  There were still quite a few hanging in trees, as you can see above.  They hang in the trees and kind of drop off as they dry out and are ready for harvesting.  Unfortunately, after all our rains, this was all we'd be able to harvest this first season.

Mesquite pods on the ground
Alas, there were just as many, if not more, on the ground under the trees.  We've read that you can get the ones on the ground as long as they haven't been wet and gotten mildew on them.  I stuck to getting them from the trees themselves, it was simpler (and easier on the old back, ha).

Mesquite harvesting
I grabbed our red metal pail and started pulling.  Side note, the red bucket does not glow, LOL, the camera just didn't like the sun shining on it.  Anyway, I grabbed the tree branches (being careful of the thorns!) and started gathering.  I was in a hurry because the sky was getting dark and rain was coming.

Gathering mesquite bean pods
Ended up with a large amount for this first time and will, hopefully, get the last next weekend.  Things we've learned in the gathering process:

Should have harvested a couple of weeks ago.
(Labor Day weekend might be a good rule of thumb)

After they have turned light brown on the tree, they should almost come off in your hand without much pulling.  In fact, shaking the branch will cause many of them to just go ahead and drop off...these are the ones you want.

If you have to pull on them, they aren't quite ready.
(but if you want to pull them, it just means they have to dry them in the sun)

Shake the pod, the seeds should rattle like shaking a salt shaker.



Now, they are currently drying out in the garage in town.

Once they are crispy dry, we'll proceed on to the next step, roasting, steeping, grinding or whatever we have to do for the project we want to try.  We didn't get as many as we hoped since the rains thwarted us, but hopefully we have enough to try at least one or two of the mesquite food items.

Stay tuned!


9 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

this is going to be interesting! send me some of your rain please? we are bone dry!

Laurie M said...

wow, they look amazing hanging from the trees, I've never saw these before, very interesting,

Daphne Gould said...

How are you going to grind them into flour?

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

watching this with interest. have never heard of this tree

Gail said...

I'm not familiar with this tree here in Arkansas. I remember Dad telling how he cowboyed in California and left his deer meat in the mesquite to keep it safe till the next meal.

Thank you. I've learned much with this post.

Thomas Generazio said...

Awesome. I can't wait to find out what you end up doing with them. My vote is to grind them into meal and making tortillas!

Sandy said...

1st Man,

Oh fun!!! You'll have some nice seeds to grind up.
I've pasted a site below you maybe interested in.
Enjoy your harvest :-)
Hugs to you and 2nd Man
http://www.desertusa.com/mag99/oct/papr/oct99_lil.html

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Ditto !

Texas Rose said...

I can't wait to see the final products!