Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mesquite trees

 My yard has been empty with very little growing on it for years. When we bought it last year I knew we needed some form of shade but I didn't want to loose the precious space I had with big trees. I decided to plant some Mesquite trees behind our block wall, It's in the alley between my house and the wash. I chose mesquite for a few reasons. First of all they are native and require no watering after they are established
They are called  "the life tree" because it is said that life would not have been able to exist here without this precious tree. When the pods dry they are ground into a flour ( a flour that is gluten free and helps control blood sugar levels) .  Here is another use I found on http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/st-plains/nature/images/mesquite.html "The nitrogen-fixing attributes of mesquite may have been recognized by the Pima Indians, who purposely left mesquite trees in the middle of fields as well as leaving them on fence rows, not only because the pods were a good food resource, but also because the falling leaves returned much-needed nitrogen to the soil (Rea 1979)." Desert Harvesters offers grinding events every fall, where they will grind your pods into flour for you. I have a  Mesquite in my yard already, they sprout up every where and are hard to kill. I now see that as a plus. Mesquite pods are ripe right before Monsoon, my plan is to collect pods and spread them where I want my trees to grow. I hope this works. 
Another awesome thing about mesquite pods is that goats can have them as a snack and so can the kids. I have heard that people make Mesquite Jelly...hmmm that sounds like it's right up my alley.