Mesquite Pod Milling at Cascabel, Arizona
October 6, 2001
David Omick and Pearl Mast organized what is now becoming an annual event in Cascabel, held at the Thomases' Knoll in front of the Saguaro-Juniper Workshop:
The pancake feast
In the morning, Pearl provided the assembled millers with a foretaste of what they would later enjoy, with helpings of her mesquite flour pancakes and prickly-pear syrup. The feast made everyone ready to work.
Some of the participants
The mesquite-milling process
The Saguaro-Juniper hammer mill is driven by Pat Corbett's Suzuki, which runs a wheel running atop a pair of mobile-home wheels to operate the belt driving the mill (designed by David).
People brought their own mesquite beans in paper bags and bushel baskets, each participant sorting their own prior to milling.
The hammer mill breaks apart the pods, and grinds the flour.
Milled material collects in a tray at the bottom.
Separating the chaff from the flour
Tom Orum and Art Block bring the output to the strainer table, and the flour is separated from the shells.
Daniel Baker presents the final product.
Storing the product, cleaning the machine
Pearl brushes debris off the hammers and then David hoses out the machine.