The Community Food Bank and Desert Harvesters recommend that you harvest your mesquite pods now in preparation for the annual Community Mesquite Bean Millings in October and November.  The Food Bank is now harvesting native mesquite pods at its new 10 acre farm in Marana and you can too from your own backyard!

 Mesquite beans can be milled into nutritious flour used in baking and cooking.  It is high in protein and fiber and is valued for its natural sweetness.  Because of the high protein and fiber, mesquite flour helps regulate blood sugars and is good for diabetics.  Five gallons of mesquite pods will grind into one pound of flour.

 It is recommended that you harvest the pods directly from the trees when the pods turn yellow or yellowish red and they are dry enough to snap.  Taste the pods before harvesting to make sure they are sweet.  Native varieties such as Velvet, Screwbeans and Honey mesquites tend to have more fruity flavor than non-native pods.  Only harvest pods from trees that are in protected areas away from busy streets and other potential pollutants.  For information on how to collect pods and store them until milling, visit the Desert Harvesters Website,

 The 4th Annual Community Mesquite Bean Millings are expected to bring out over 3,000 people from Southern Arizona.  To see the listings of the fall events or to have the hammermill brought to your community, visit the Desert Harvesters Website at

 For more information, contact Dana Helfer at the Community Food Bank, (520)
622-0525 x 249 or by e-mail at   Brad Lancaster may be contacted at Desert Harvesters, (520) 882-9443 or by e-mail at