Friday, July 20, 2007

It's Monsoon-y!

(monsoony-dew point at 55 or above, muggy, sticky, it's gotta rain weather)

But then the clouds build up, lightning, thunder, wind and the driving rain comes. The temperature drops 20 degrees in 20 minutes-ahhhhhh...

It was a great storm-our neighbors recorded one inch of rain.

Our wall/fence (maybe it should be called a wence or a fall) is almost complete. We're slowly adding rocks from the lot but will have some delivered tomorrow. I can't believe I'm buying rocks! Dave and his crew are working on the gates.

Again, we have stumbled onto wonderful people to work with, and work they did in the 105 degree pre-monsoon heat. Dave's real job is making custom bikes at Bohemian Bicycles.

The mesh will rust (or patina) with time and really complement the other colors and textures of the house.

The beginning of the monsoon also means mesquite beans are ready to harvest. This is a mesquite with some mature pods (the yellow clusters). When dried, the beans can be milled into a flour which is a good source of protein and can assist in regulation of blood sugar. The flour has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. As a toddler, Sam, our oldest son loved to pick them up off the ground and eat the whole bean .

Right now mesquite are laden with pods that need to be harvested before the rains knock them from the trees. They can then be further dried and kept from moisture and bugs until milling time in the fall.

I dried and slightly toasted my beans in the solar oven. What an amazing aroma, reminiscent of baking bread with cinnamon and maple. I can only imagine what a treat these beans must have been for native people.

A five gallon bucket of pods will make approximately 2 lbs of flour so I have so more gathering to do. So many seeds, so little time.

More mesquite information here and here.

Also milling dates for Tucson area can be found here at the Desert Harvesters site..

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What does Independence mean to you?
Freedom from, for, to, of...
Listen to this short talk by William McDonough on
Cradle to Cradle Design
Now that's independence!

With thanks to Ottmar Liebert, I find the most interesting things in his blog.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Front Porch on a Hot Afternoon

This is the beautiful slate we bought and have moved various times. It is now set in sand as our front porch but can be taken out and used as something else if the mood strikes. It's a great spot to watch the birds and butterflies but is just too hot right now. We're looking forward to watching thunderstorms from this vantage point.