Amedean Messan

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since Nov 11, 2010
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Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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Recent posts by Amedean Messan


Not exactly permaculture but it is in the same realm. This is part of the 2.0 agricultural movement which this project may or may not gain traction, however this one has a lot of potential. Because pictures are worth a thousand words, well at 30 pictures per second and paired with words:



8 years ago

I had my horizons broadened a bit today when initially I was researching some tortilla making techniques but found a real gem of an idea! In an almost never discussed, and even more rarely implemented technique I found a very well written page (link below) about nixtamalization of grains other than corn.

It is nice to have theory put into practice. There is a bit of a mixture of failure and success from the experiments. None the less, phenomenal idea with nutritional potential that has yet to been researched.

Oland wheat is one of our favourite grains at the lab, and it was one of the most successful with the nixtamalisation process. It gives an aroma particularly similar to corn masa dough, with hints of nuts and caramelized roasted grain, a slightly chewy texture, a fine reddish brown colour with hints of yellow, and a surface resistant enough for any type of filling.
100g whole Oland wheat grains
500g water
5g calcium hydroxide (we got ours here)
5g salt
Mix the water with the calcium, add the wheat and cook in a pot for 45 minutes at medium heat. Remove from the stove and leave in the solution for 6 hours. Wash a few times until they are clean of calcium, strain and grind in a molcajete, the Mexican mortar and pestle of volcanic rock (or, if without, then blend in a food processor), until obtaining a smooth dough. Put the masa in a bowl and mix with salt. Weigh out balls of 10g and press between two sheets of parchment paper sprayed with oil. Cook the tortilla in a hot pan for 45 seconds on each side, and a final 45 seconds on the first side, until the tortilla is nice and cooked but not dry or brittle. Reserve in a damp towel.
8 years ago
Fewf.....been a long day! I have just finished testing clinical trials at my home but I need to move to factor in the control element. Will be taking volunteers tomorrow.
8 years ago
Bump, in case you missed it.
8 years ago

Products, methods, chemistry, experts opinions, etc...... Lots of valuable information at the disposal of a few clicks in PDF format.

Remember to thank the staff as well!

They are also on Facebook.
8 years ago
Original Post:

Well, I am back in Florida. Working on getting some land at the moment making connections in the area.
8 years ago
Hey guys, I appreciate the link even if it is an advertisement, lol! Bought a copy of the book because resources for Florida are not too common and I like the research shortcut in my establishing a food forest here.

David, what area are you from in Florida?
8 years ago
Hi Sharon! I live on the east side of Florida but I wanted to shout out to a fellow neighbor. Just moved here so I am starting new. Waiting on a purchase of some acreage before I establish a food forest. Give me a yell and tell me about yourself!
8 years ago
Disclaimer: I am not a wine expert! The information as I present is reflective of my experiences in marketing, natural sciences, and common sense. Grounded skepticism is an essential skill.

Thought I should share this. It looks like another "buzz push" which is a cleaver advertising technique and I will explain my opinions in the following TLTR (too long to read) post.

It's is a lot like what happened to me when over a year ago I watched a piece through CNN about a service called Hola where at the time it was claimed to be a safe way to circumvent information firewalls (internet censorship). They really sold the idea to me. Long story short, that article was a bit of a clever lie. Yeah, instead the program was a Trojan horse to make my computer become a slave to a botnet or mine Bitcoins for someone else using my computers resources and spare bandwidth which you can read about the plot here. Anyways, it is real geeky stuff and I am not trying to go on a tangent here but I learned my lesson. The media, even from reputable sources can be deceiving. It is a marketing tool essentially selling ideas to people and that is a huge industry of questionable ethics.

Back to the topic, I have noticed a similar pattern of marketing buzz lately regarding Chinese wine. Lately it is from CBS News and other networks. In this case, I suspect other interests are involved than merely a wine connoisseur discussing her love for wine in her updated book. You can watch the video here and draw your own conclusions. Karen MacNeil is author of a popular and reputable book "The Wine Bible" and by all credible accounts she is an expert among her peers. Personally I find her behavior odd in the video because she is really selling the Chinese wine rather than appearing as an unbiased judge of quality. To be fair, it could be the editor's intent to selectively orchestrate the tone of the video and communicate a more positive perspective. Still, I suspect she is acting as a paid consultant and public relations rep. There is a lot of money going into developing this market in China and if they produce a quality product great but I have reservations. Some backstory, China is now the 5th largest producer of wine in the world but they have difficulty penetrating the world market. It is no secret, China has piss poor PR for quality and consumer confidence but for good reason you can read elsewhere. Wine is a connoisseur market that is fiercely competitive. The more lucrative markets demands quality so branding and reputation are paramount to expanding business, least the success of a few wineries may help by association the rest of the Chinese industry.

There are about 80,000 acres of vineyards under cultivation in Ningxia and they plan to expand to 160,000 acres by 2020. Looking at this from an ecological sense, I think the Chinese are making some of the same mistakes that their Californian competitors made. Yes, land in an arid desert is cheap and plentiful but water is not. Least, I have little doubt that China will experience the same issues of high levels of arsenic levels in their wines due to where they sourced their water. The deeper you go in the ground the more likely you get the heavier "old water". If not from the ground, where can one get clean water? Still, from my understanding the dry lands in Ningxia, which is roughly 500 miles west of Beijing, have had an infusion of "fresh" water from government-sponsored water projects. Here is the problem with that, China's has ecological regulations that are near nonexistent unlike in Europe and the USA.

The air quality is so bad that more affluent Chinese are sending their children to abroad to raise them in fresh air to avoid severe health issues. Because of this not even the rain can be considered clean when it is loaded with dioxins or other industrial contaminants. Also roughly 70 percent of the energy is generated by China is from coal. Geographically, the coal industry has a strong presence near many of these vineyards. So yes, I will have my doubts on the quality of the product despite what a taste tester author sells me.
8 years ago