Time, Volume, & Value of Pod Harvesting & Milling
Estimated time, volume, and value of a neighborhood mesquite-pod harvest
One person can leisurely pick 5 gallons of whole pods from a neighborhood pruned up velvet neighborhood street tree (not picking pods on the ground) in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
It takes another 15 minutes to lay out to dry, clean, and store the pods (little cleaning is needed if only clean pods are harvested).
It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to grind that 5 gallons of whole pods.
To be conservative, let’s say it takes 2 hours total to pick, clean, dry, store, and grind 5 gallons of whole pods into 1 gallon of flour.
If that 1 gallon (5 pounds) of mesquite flour were sold at the bargain price of $10 per pound ($14-20 per pound is more common price), it would earn $50, thus netting the neighborhood harvester/seller a $25 per hour wage. This assumes the flour is sold directly to the customer, most likely at a mesquite milling event in the neighborhood, and that the harvester harvested the pods in his/her neighborhood to eliminate transportation time and costs.
Note that harvest time could likely be significantly reduced if time efficiency were more the goal, and the pace were not leisurely; could pick from trees that have not been pruned up, and thus need a ladder for picking; if pods were knocked down onto a sheet on the ground.
Mesquite pod:flour weight ratios
10 lbs of whole velvet mesquite pods (about 6 gallons) were ground into 7.5 lbs (or 600 ounces) of flour
5 lbs of whole pods (about 2.5-3 gallons) were ground into 3.25 lbs (or 260 ounces) of flour
Mesquite flour volume:weight ratios
1 cup of velvet mesquite flour weighs about 5 ounces
16 cups in a gallon, so one gallon of velvet mesquite flour weighs 80 ounces (5 pounds)
Mesquite-pod weight by volume and pod:flour weight ratios
On average 5 gallons of whole dry velvet mesquite pods weighs about 7 lbs, though this can range from 5 to 9 lbs due to how tightly the bucket is packed/filled with pods.
On average a pound of whole pods grinds down to 0.6 to 0.75 pounds of mesquite flour, or 60–75% of the pod weight (but again this can vary depending on the pods).
Carob pod:flour volume ratio
3 gallons of carob pods mill down to ~1 gallon of carob flour
The value of our milling services
Our mill turns 5 gallons of whole mesquite pods into about 1 gallon of finely ground mesquite flour in about 5 minutes. If you were to mill 5 gallons of whole mesquite pods (typically weighing about 7 lbs), this would likely result in about 5 lbs of mesquite flour.
As mesquite flour typically sells for about $14 per pound, that 5 lbs of flour would cost about $70 to buy at retail. But with our milling fee of $3 per gallon, your 5 lbs of flour would cost you only $15, or $3 per pound.
Furthermore, your flour will have an even greater value to you and your friends and family, as the flour you receive from our mill comes directly from the pods you harvested. Thus the flour is uniquely of you and your experience.