• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Share what you know about honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
how about a competition?  best information gets a free honey locust seedling.  actually, let's just say every post earns a honey locust seedling*.

Gleditsia triacanthos:
what's it good for?
what isn't it good for?
who can eat what parts and are they nutritious?
how does one propagate it?
access to thorn-less varieties?
largest thorn you've ever seen?
hardiness?
does it actually fix nitrogen and how much?
dense stand or savanna?
any potential for browse?
anything else I didn't think of.

GO.


*limit 20 and pick up your prizes in person.
 
                                  
Posts: 26
Location: central kansas
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If it's the same as the kind we have in Kansas the only good I know of is to make more work for me to eradicate it from the property.   Seriously, though, I have heard of it being used to make gun stocks.  Supposed to be quite beautiful.  And it makes excellent fire wood.  Puts off a lot of heat.  The longest thorns I have seen were close to six inches but I have seen some thornless trees on the property.  They spread by seed and by runners from the tree.  Runners travel quite far until another tree pops out of the ground.   One tree can very soon have a dense stand around it.  It survives our winters quite nicely--zone 5/6.  Goats and sheep will eat small trees and leaves they can reach and it seems to draw bees in the early summer.  Don't know about the nitrogen fixing.  My main complaint with them is the sharp thorn and spreading into areas I don't want them.  Please donate my seedling--if earned--to the charity of your choice.  As long as it's far from here.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
this reminds me of my parents old home where i grew up..there was a honey locust growing there..and every year we would try to dig up and transplant the babies..and they would always die..i never did manage to get any of them to grow out here..

not sure what i was doing wrong..i always loved them..

as far as what is edible about them..i'm not really certain but i'm sure there were..i have heard that they are good for animal feed but thing they have some other beneifts too.

i do know they are good for erosion control as they send out runners..similar to our aspen trees..one mama tree and tons and tons of babies.

that would also make them a good nurse tree...as they would "settle" an an area an provide food an shelter for hardwood seedlings.

i have heard of thornless varities..which would likely be really cool..and i am aware that they are greatr for wildlife..

i know they are hardy as far north as where we live zone 4/5
and that they form thickets or large family groups..they have really purty flowers..

guess i'm not much help not havinig successfully grown them here
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
well, this isn't going well.  I'll try to get us started again.

from pfaf:

Seed - raw or cooked. It can contain up to 30% sugar. Young seeds taste like raw peas. Seeds are not always borne in maritime regions because the tree prefers long hot summers. The oval seeds are about 8mm long. They contain 10.6 - 24.1% protein, 0.8 - 4.3% fat, 84.7% carbohydrate, 21.1% fibre, 4% ash, 280mg calcium and 320mg phosphorus per 100g. The seeds have been roasted and used as a coffee substitute.

Seedpods - the pulp is sweet and can be eaten raw or made into sugar. The tender young seedpods can be cooked and eaten. The pulp in older pods turns bitter. The seedpods are up to 40cm long and 4cm wide. A sweet, pleasant tasting drink can be made from the seed pods. The seed pulp has been used to make a drink.


I'm told that the wood is very rot-resistant, but prone to splitting.  suggests to me that it would make very good split rail fences.

I've also read that honey locust thorns have been used as nails.

a google search turns up all sorts of studies using honey locust as an intercrop and in alley cropping strategies.

here is a good summary of the info J. Russell Smith published in Tree Crops.  a couple highlights recommending it for forage: the open canopy allows pasture to grow under it and the thorns protect the trunk from rubbing and chewing.

goodshephrd's objections are certainly valid, but it seems they could be nullified if browsing and grazing animals were part of the equation.  what do you think?
 
                                  
Posts: 26
Location: central kansas
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Absolutely the grazing helps.  The ones I was cutting out were too big for the animals.  I don't know if the grazing would kill the young tree or not.  Maybe.  I think runners draw a lot of nutrients from the main tree. Didn't know they used the thorns for nails.  I wonder if the Indians used them for an arrowhead?
 
                          
Posts: 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Honey locust was the fencepost of choice where I grew up.  I am in Maine now and the cedar is what everyone uses.  I see grove of honey locusts here near old farmsteads, so somebody knew what they were for. 
 
Daniel Ebert
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grew up with Honey Locusts, they were all over the place at the old farmhouse where I grew up. The biggest grave surrounded where the old cow barn used to be. I am not sure if they were used because the can't be rubbed because of the thorns or because of the pods for the cattle to eat. The pods make good fodder and Native Americans used to eat the meat around the beans and use the pods to make a beer like drink.

I have never tried transplanting them but my experience is that you can't get rid of them. They reproduce by the pods obviously but also by suckers and if you cut one down it will sprout up form the trunk and you have to dig up the trunk if you really want to get rid of them.

I know there are thorn-less varieties that are ornamental but I have no experience with them only "wild" specimens. I have seen thorns of 5 or 6 inches or 12 to eighteen inches if you strip off the the branching thorns from a thorn cluster. The thorns break when stepped on and we never got any in our feet from them penetrating our shoe soles. However they are murder on wheelbarrow tires.

They seem extremely hardy and can grow almost anywhere, but in Ohio we get a lot of rainfall so in my experience hardiness means different types of slopes, solar exposure, soil and the ability to win out in "survival of the fittest" in the thickets of Ohio.

They grow in pretty dense stands but the leaves are pretty small so you get decent sun to everything below them and support dense ground cover including shrubs and small trees. Actually raspberries and blackberries seem to do very well under them so I assume beans and squash and other plants that like mottled exposure would do well too.

I have heard mixed things when it comes to nitrogen fixing but they do seem to improve the soil overtime and retain topsoil extremely well. I have also read that they do well as inter-crops with apples or other fruit trees but don't know why. If anybody has more scientific explanations for why to inter-crop them and use them in guilds with fruit trees I would like to know.

Hope this helps
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
great information..thanks
 
              
Posts: 133
Location: West Iowa
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hidden Springs Nursery has some cultivars that were selected back in the day for mass pod production. 

I feed the pods to the goats in the fall, but the seeds just pass through them cuz don't go through effort of grinding them.  so little seedlings try to pop up everywhere, but goats take care of that problem, too.  The tree is being mass planted in cities, and leaving the species vulnerable to attack.  So I plant some, but don't go overboard, knowing something probably could wipe them out if in too dense of stands. 
 
Melba Corbett
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My dairy goats LOVE honey locust.  They will do most anything to get to it, fresh or dried.  They like it so much I dry some (stripping off the leaves by hand) for them for winter treats.  Being a legume, I'm sure it is high in protein.  It always seems to come up in the wrong places though and we end up having to cut it down.  Makes great firewood too, one of the best.  Of coure, we save out anything we can use for pole barns first. 
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a cut/paste from J.L.Hudson, Seedsman (CopyLeft)

GLEDITSIA (gle-DIT-shee-a)


LEGUMINOSAE. 'HONEY LOCUST'. Handsome ornamental trees grown throughout the world.
Vigorous, hardy, fast growing, drought resistant, standing almost any soil except heavy clay.
They are excellent for shade, impenetrable hedges, timber & fuelwood production,
erosion control, human, livestock and wildlife food, shelterbelts, etc.
Tolerates alkalinity and salinity. Easy from seed, but has a hard seed coat.
Either nick and soak, or cover with 3 - 4 times their volume with almost boiling water
and soak till swollen. Sow shallowly to germinate in 1 - 4 weeks warm.

THORNLESS HONEYLOCUST'.
Thornlessness is a genetically dominant trait and comes true from seed.
Other than lack of thorns, this tree has all of the fine properties of the thorny kind.

His catalog currently lists the thornless as OUT  OF  STOCK

He has a customer write that over half of his seedlings survived a winter of -40 F (= -40 C)
 
                                
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
what's it good for?
Larger pods + higher sugar content => More economical beer production!
 
Michael Littlejohn
Posts: 42
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Honey Locust--I munched on a pod or two as a child (the pods are slightly diuretic so beware). An old time name for them is "Confederate Pin Tree" so called because the Confederates used to pin up their uniforms with the thorns due to lack of iron or steel pins. They are sometimes planted for mining reclamation. In dry country they make a passable fodder for browsers. In Eastern Europe and South Korea they are coppiced extensively.  Their low specific gravity is not quite what one would call a "hard wood" but perhaps they can be said to be among the softest of the hardwoods or hardest of the soft woods. Prone to splitting while drying so not really a gunstock or fine furniture type wood. Good fencepost wood and small odd branches make excellent sweet smelling fireplace wood. I like the sharp spines, wish I knew of a use for them...well, I say a very "permaculturish" thing to do with them is to plant them one foot apart in an exact circle and grow an African style "Boma" to keep your herd animals in and coyotes and other predators out.  If you have goats or deer, they will browse the leaves..so they could be used simulatanously as protection and livestock food...Mike
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
honey locust is one of the preferred woods for growing maitake/hen-of-the-woods.  that's a seriously delicious mushroom.  seriously.
 
osker brown
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's good to know about Maitakes, I've only been using oak...

Re: nitrogen fixation
research by Dr. Jim Bryan at the School of Forestry at Yale University found evidence of bacterial nitrogen fixation in the roots of non-nodulating Leguminosae.  These results, now expanded and reported in the refereed journal, Plant and Soil, included tests with Gleditsia triacanthos L. and twelve other non-nodulating species under different growing conditions--potting soil, sand, and bare root.  Subsequent to the publication of this article, additional tests by Bryan using Gleditsia triacanthos L. have further confirmed the earlier findings.


Found this here in newsletter #3 http://faculty.virginia.edu/honeylocust-agroforestry/agroforestry/

The original research is from '95, seems like something should have happened since then, can't find anything more recent, though.

I'm planning on using them along with thorny brambles to protect fruit plantings from deer in a low maintenance food forest.

peace

 
Libby Jane
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We eat the spring flowers of our locusts.
They are fragrant, slightly sweet. They are good by the handful in salads, can be cooked lightly, but we mostly just snack on them. They taste way better fresh and early in their bloom.
 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My mom raises bees and always looks forward to the honey from when the bees go for the honey locusts. Super fragrant and delicious.
 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul and Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia's Garden share about honey locust, including an anecdote of Bill Mollison, in this podcast: http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/367-podcast-053-toby-hemenway-native-plants/
 
cini McCoy
Posts: 30
Location: Manhattan
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Suzy Bean wrote:an anecdote of Bill Mollison

I am curious what geoff lawton would say about the likely effect of Honey locust on soil nitrogen enrichment that is not by nitrogen fixing of rhizobial nodules but by another possible association with another non-nodule forming diazatrophic bacterium—Bill Mollison had his reasons to plant hordes of Hony locust.
 
John Wheeler
Posts: 41
Location: Slippery Rock, PA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tel, it's a good thing you said we had to come pick up our "prizes", or else I'd be afraid you'd make good on your threat to give us a honey locust seedling. I don't have room on my third-acre lot for things that spread easily and are hard to kill.

I love my honey locust, but only because it is a well-behaved "Sunburst" variety which has no thorns or flowers. What is does have is leaves that are a beautiful yellow when young. I love the light shade it gives, as do the yellow loosestrife, yucca, and groundcover sedum I have around it. My earliest blackberries thrive nearby, but I suspect those are more influenced by the "accidental hugelkultur" of the rotted tree stump they are growing on top of.
 
Kris Thompson
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The only two good things in my life that came from honey locust trees are

1. They make EXCELLENT firewood and kindling. If they don't tear up you or your saw in the process! The branches in the box are dry honey locust that I gathered last year for starting fires in our wood stove.



2. After the second time I got one embedded in the bottom of my foot (thorns pierced the soles of my boots), I went out and bought my first pair of Red Wings--hard-bottomed and steel-toed. Love those boots.

Other than that, we are striving to eliminate them from our acres. They are a significant hazard to humans and to tires, as well as being a large potential legal liability if someone gets hurt. The thorns can remain dangerous hiding on the ground for years even after the tree is gone. We have just one large mature honey locust (that I know of) left to deal with, and I am not sure how we are going to bring it down without hurting anyone.
 
Yone' Ward
Posts: 135
Location: Springdale, WA USA - Cold Mediterranean Climate
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We went to the local Walmart parking lot and harvested several hundred seeds off the ground in their pods. We used a file to get through the hull of the seed and planted them. We had a 99% sprouting rate and a 25% survival rate over winter #1, but we have brown thumbs. We are still waiting for them to thaw out this year to see if there are any survivors.

black locust vs. Honey Locust: Which one is more useful?
 
Matt Smith
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good info thus far. I've always been mildly interested in them from a security standpoint (the George Washington quote in this or the other thread, can't remember which).

There are some specimens here locally in my area that are literally a solid knot of thorns up the entire trunk, never seen anything like them. A hedge planted out of those things would keep anything in (or out).
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yone' Ward wrote:
Black Locust vs. Honey Locust: Which one is more useful?


Black v. Honey Locust
 
Jonathan Overlin
Posts: 27
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About 30% of our woods (overgrown pasture) is Honey Locust. I found 28 of the straightest ones and used them for poles in my house. They do have some radial splitting, but after 5 years, they seem to be holding up okay. I have one pole that gets down to about 5 inches at the top, and it split to the point I put a metal collar around it (yikes!).

When I was a child I got a 3" splinter in my cheek while sledding near some honey locusts, so have always hate a hate/hate relationship with them. But now, with all I've learned about them, they will have a permanent place in my developing food forest.

-Jonathan


Dsc_6284a.jpg
[Thumbnail for Dsc_6284a.jpg]
Dsc_6319a.jpg
[Thumbnail for Dsc_6319a.jpg]
 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@Jonathan Overlin

Hey, that style construction looks vaguely familiar, is it inspired by Japanese pole construction? Very nice by the way, completely envious!
 
Mathew Ritchie
Posts: 25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
tel jetson wrote:well, this isn't going well.  I'll try to get us started again.

from pfaf:

Seed - raw or cooked. It can contain up to 30% sugar. Young seeds taste like raw peas. Seeds are not always borne in maritime regions because the tree prefers long hot summers. The oval seeds are about 8mm long. They contain 10.6 - 24.1% protein, 0.8 - 4.3% fat, 84.7% carbohydrate, 21.1% fibre, 4% ash, 280mg calcium and 320mg phosphorus per 100g. The seeds have been roasted and used as a coffee substitute.(THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR COFFIE)

Seedpods - the pulp is sweet and can be eaten raw or made into sugar. The tender young seedpods can be cooked and eaten. The pulp in older pods turns bitter. The seedpods are up to 40cm long and 4cm wide. A sweet, pleasant tasting drink can be made from the seed pods. The seed pulp has been used to make a drink.


I'm told that the wood is very rot-resistant, but prone to splitting.  suggests to me that it would make very good split rail fences.

I've also read that honey locust thorns have been used as nails.

a google search turns up all sorts of studies using honey locust as an intercrop and in alley cropping strategies.

here is a good summary of the info J. Russell Smith published in Tree Crops.  a couple highlights recommending it for forage: the open canopy allows pasture to grow under it and the thorns protect the trunk from rubbing and chewing.

goodshephrd's objections are certainly valid, but it seems they could be nullified if browsing and grazing animals were part of the equation.  what do you think?
 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i use the thorny prunings for tree guards (whaitawhile) they are easily removed with a bill hook ( i think there is a utube somewhere)
i think we neeed a honey locust pod compet ition
i plant them with cows ,nb the cows treat the seed a variety with digestable seeds would be of benefit to the rancher
my 800 ac farm is drought proof beacause of honey locusts acorns and a few other tricks that J Russel smith talks about
dense stand in fertile areas otherwise savanna
Easter bonnets?
 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Russell Hatfield wrote:what's it good for?
Larger pods + higher sugar content => More economical beer production!

have you done the beer?
 
alex Keenan
Posts: 487
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
biggest problem with honey locust that I found was that everyone wants the pods but no one wants the thorns
Seeds of thornless are very likely to produce thorned offspring.
So even if you use a thornless it is still an issue if you want seeds.
You really need a stable line of thornless and then NO other honey locust around to hybridize with it.
Alot of the thornless trees are nothing more then upper branches grafted on to a root stock.
Best option is to grow in nice grassy area and use some type of nut gatherier to sweep pods each fall.
Then GRIND the pods BEFORE you use them as feed!!!
 
Jay Hayes
Posts: 62
Location: Missouri
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have no great love for the trees themselves, but I have used the wood for various wood working projects and it is beautiful. I have found it to be no more difficult to dry without cracking than most hardwoods. Here are a few pics of some nice hardwood flooring we made out of Honey Locust. The flooring is mostly oak with a few locust boards mixed in.

hl.jpg
[Thumbnail for hl.jpg]
The circled board is Honey Locust
IMG_5127.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_5127.JPG]
The stove is trimmed in Honey Locust
 
wayne stephen
steward
Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
104
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In an area where there has been only pine , I wonder if honey locust can help convert soil conditions back to freindly for other hardwood trees ? Seems to do well in wide ph range.
 
Claire Skerry
Posts: 28
Location: Converse, Texas
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Was wondering if anyone has any experience using locusts for hedges. Watched this spiffy
youtube where they took small trees, cut a notch 2/3 into the trunk and weaved it into the hedge.
Plausible to do this with a locust? or are they just to strong to go bending into shrubberies?

For a mix of plants I was thinking Honey Locust, Mesquite, Wisteria [all nitrogen fixers], Roses [for the hips],
Raspberries [and other berries], and Holly [Cause I think it's pretty.. and the evergreen would be nice].
To much?
 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Claire Skerry wrote:Was wondering if anyone has any experience using locusts for hedges. Watched this spiffy
youtube where they took small trees, cut a notch 2/3 into the trunk and weaved it into the hedge.
Plausible to do this with a locust? or are they just to strong to go bending into shrubberies?

For a mix of plants I was thinking Honey Locust, Mesquite, Wisteria [all nitrogen fixers], Roses [for the hips],
Raspberries [and other berries], and Holly [Cause I think it's pretty.. and the evergreen would be nice].
To much?
cant have too much diversity!
the hedge thing is worth a try ,again use more than one species
 
wayne stephen
steward
Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
104
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As far as flexibilty , the staves are highly prized by the primitive archery folks. A few hours ago , I was checking out a stand of honey locust. There were a few young trees that had been severely choked by virginia creeper vines. The trees grew into an interesting spiraled trunk. There were still pieces of the old vine imbedded in the grooves. They and some sassafras are part way down a grassy slope. At the top is an old granny walnut. I am going to fill that space with redbud , pawpaw. At the edge I will plant rosa rugosa and thimbleberry. Wisteria sounds like a good match too.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have some that drop caltrops (4-6 thorns shaped like a jack, no matter which way it lands there is a thorn sticking UP). They will go through 12 ply tractor tires, and any boot other than vietnam era punji boots. Those trees have to die, I will resort to chemicals if I have to. But I am learning to appreciate them in other areas. If I could keep them thornless I would have a lot more of them.
 
David Nash
Posts: 14
Location: Tennessee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want them for a living hedge, and want a thorned variety, but everywhere I look only sells the thornless. Does anyone know a source for seeds for the thorned honey locust?
 
Philip Green
Posts: 45
Location: Southern Ohio (zone 6a)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
andrew curr wrote:
Claire Skerry wrote:Was wondering if anyone has any experience using locusts for hedges. Watched this spiffy
youtube where they took small trees, cut a notch 2/3 into the trunk and weaved it into the hedge.
Plausible to do this with a locust? or are they just to strong to go bending into shrubberies?

For a mix of plants I was thinking Honey Locust, Mesquite, Wisteria [all nitrogen fixers], Roses [for the hips],
Raspberries [and other berries], and Holly [Cause I think it's pretty.. and the evergreen would be nice].
To much?
cant have too much diversity!
the hedge thing is worth a try ,again use more than one species


I wonder if it would be possible to make a hedge with no weaving required. Use a mix of black and honey locust and perhaps osage orange. All grow back vigorously from suckers. So if you had the time (or they were already there), you could cut them every five years or so (to encourage suckers) and eventually end up with a massive thicket of spiny things that no sane creature would want to go through. I guess it would take quite a while, but it seems like it would be quite effective.

P.S. I've always thought honey locust has a bad reputation among permaculture circles. It's like the black sheep, everyone loves black locust, but no one likes honey locust. But in terms of what they provide they are very comparable. I've been a fan of honey locust for quite some time and have read quite a bit about it. I believe in terms of calorie content, it is one of the highest producing plants in the world (the seeds and seed pods are both edible) - in terms of calories/acre - and it has pinnate leaves that allow a lot of light through to the understory. It is slightly worse at fixing nitrogen (but scientific studies have found that it does fix nitrogen) and of course the thorns are a bit of a bother.

I have eaten honey-locust seeds before and I must say they are not great. I tried making a honey locust pie (from the beans) - the taste was similar to sweet potato pie, but the texture was similar to nothing. Suffice to say that in all my efforts I found virtually no one who enjoyed the texture that honey locust beans provide. They were also okay roasted. Perhaps the easiest way to eat them was boiled and in soup, though because they are so large and have two distinct layers that make them somewhat crunchy even when well cooked, they were described by quite a few people as being similar to eating cockroaches. The theme here is; honey-locust beans taste fine (even good), but the texture would take quite a bit of getting used to.

 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Philip Green wrote: Perhaps the easiest way to eat them was boiled and in soup...


I think the easiest way to eat them is processed thru livestock.
It's excellent stock fodder, ground or whole, especially during drought or at the end of summer. Good for cattle, pigs, sheep. I seem to recall chicken with eat it too but I don't have that down in my notes.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic