Greetings fellow permies!! We went out to the beautiful Desert Willows Environmental Education Center, Saturday morning and held a harvesting and storage demo. There was a great turnout, and we had Jean Groen, local desert cook book author, with us to show us how to mill mesquite pods in a VitaMix blender. Jean brought some mesquite marmalade and mesquite cookies she made, also. They were both delicious and wonderful glimpses of what could be awaiting us after harvest! That is, if I had the talent and patience of Jean. I'll be okay with just getting some additional mesquite experience, though.
After the instruction and demo we went to the largest tree in the Desert Willow area. This is a beautiful tree and it was nice just hanging out under it. The monsoon winds and rain had knocked many of the pods off, but we were able to pick a few of this one.
Some of us took off into the thicker stuff to make sure we left with plenty. There were trees all over the area, probably a couple dozen. I ended up getting 3-4 gallons which gives me enough to mill at our hammer mill event this fall. I still need 5 more gallons so that I can flush out the carob that I'm milling (mill policy). I'm sure I'll find enough by then. The Desert Willow representative said we can come back after the monsoons to harvest again. Keep an eye on the Events page for info.
Desert Willow will be having a volunteer gardening day on September 21st for those who would like to help. It's a great place and kids go there to learn about gardening and permaculture stuff. Ask your school if they'll take your kids' classes for a field trip! Big thank you to Desert Willow for hosting.