What I just learned about life in the brush country…


Ah, the ubiquitous mesquite trees. You can find them in north Texas, South Texas, and many places in between.

Serious barbecuing Texans from every corner of the state revere the mesquite tree as the Holy Grail of wood when it comes to cooking meats (especially brisket) in their smokers.

With their tough-as-nails thorns (sometimes up to 2″ long), these hardy trees are the bane of ranchers. However, as I’ve just recently learned from one of the ranch workers, they can also help save ranch wildlife, as well as cattle, in times of drought.

Mesquite Seed Pods hanging from the tree. Who knew these were edible???

You see, ranch-worker Ronnie told Bob that you can eat the pods produced by the Mesquite tree. In fact, he said natives to this region used to pick the pods from the trees (you don’t want to pick them up off the ground since bugs love to eat them too), dry them out, then grind them into flour and make a type of cake out of it.

Don’t harvest the pods on the ground. They are usually infested with insects. And the Termites just love to cover them over with their mud tunnels and devour them… it’s the cellulous fiber they want!

I figured Ronnie was pulling our legs… it’s pretty obvious that basically we are city-folk. Don’t get me wrong… we like it out here, but we love it too when we get to go back to our roots in the city (aka: civilization).

Now I’m a very curious person by nature. Many nights you can either find me writing (trying to get started on a novel), reading, or researching all kinds of stuff on the Internet. I can’t imagine what it was like before having this unlimited wealth of information at our fingertips. After all… I met Bob on the Internet…

So I set out to look up Mesquite Pod Flour and the beloved Mesquite Tree. Regarding the flour, sure enough… it does exist!

Imagine that… Organic Mesquite Pod Flour! I don’t even have to collect it & grind it!

Let me share this interesting fact: Mesquite grows in all regions of Texas except the East Texas Piney Woods (ground is too wet)… this includes more than 56 million of Texas’ 167.5 million acres of land, stretching from the Rio Grande River to the Texas Panhandle, across Central and North Central Texas, and into much of West Texas. 76% of all the mesquite found in the United States resides right here in the Lone Star State.

As I was reading about the food quality of Mesquite Pod Flour, I was astonded! It is almost a superfood. In fact, the ranch manager informed me that if I pick some of these pods, please leave plenty for the ranch animals. Take a look at this…

“The sweet pods are a good source of calcium, manganese, iron, and zinc. The seeds within are 40 percent protein. Mesquite flour made from grinding the whole pods produces soluble fibers, which are slowly absorbed, without a rapid rise in blood sugar.” (taken from http://www.desertusa.com/lil/mesquite.html)

Have you ever heard the old-timers say… it’s too dry to rain? Well, according to our ranch manager, over the last 4-years the Brush Country did not get any measurable rain. Yet these bean pods were everywhere. As a result, the wildlife here made it through by eating these Mesquite pods, but they were very lean.

Mesquite trees supply not only food, but they also supply cover for wildlife including quail, dove, raven, turkey, white-tail deer, mule deer, wood rat, kangaroo rat, chipmunk, pocket mouse, rock squirrel, ground squirrel, prairie dog, porcupine, cottontail, jackrabbit, skunk, peccary (javelina), and coyote.

As many of you may have already guessed, I’m what they call a health nut. Actually, I just want to keep the doctors and drug companies from enjoying my hard earned money… and I don’t trust either one of them!

So when I learn about natural things I can do to take care of our health and make our quality of life as great as it can be, I absorb it like a sponge. At one time I was on about eight medications or more and now I’m on two. And I feel so much better.

Before I go off on a tangent, I’ll wrap this up. I plan to learn something new everyday. Today’s lesson was about Mesquite trees and Mesquite Pod Flour! Who knew…

Till next time,

Vicky

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “What I just learned about life in the brush country…

  1. Yeah, and you can blame the cattle for the spread of the mesquite, or the war on prairie dogs. According to some old timers, when we got rid of most of the prairie dogs, the mesquite spread. Seems the priairie dogs chewed up the seeds, and the cattle took the pod and some of the seeds survived, thus the cattle spread them in a natural movement. One place north of San Angelo was devoid of mesquite until about 1920, now it is thick.
    The mesquite is a favorite of deer and javalina. Taste some raw, really sweet and not bitter.

    • You are so rightabout the over-processed flour Susan And the worst part is if it’s not certified organic, then it is in all likelyhood made from genetically modified wheat and that is very bad for the body. I made Cinnamon Scones this week and used 1/2 organic wheat flour and 1/2 organic oat flour. I used pastured butter and they were great. I’m going to use 1/2 of the butter next time and the other half organic extra virgin coconut oil. Should be good too! I just love cooking with coconut oil.

    • Yep… got a pretty good shower day before yesterday. Much needed around here. With the solid platforms provided by our guard company, we don’t even need to put our mud boots on! Love it 😀
      Vicky

      PS- are you guys swimming over there yet?

  2. All our showers were pretty short – enough to tamp down the caliche for a few hours. 😉
    I was just going to write to you to see if you you guys were quitting or just taking a break?
    I read the men’s luncheon post and sounds like you’re just getting some good R&R, right?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s