by Linda, Everett Public Library staff
Jerusalem artichokes, serviceberries and blue camas roots are just a few of the plants you can eat to survive. Sacagawea taught Lewis and Clark about them and other plants on their expedition. This information is from the book Plants on the Trail with Lewis and Clark (chapter 3 “Plants as food”) by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent.
We have a lot of books about Lewis and Clark and their journey, but I was particularly impressed with all of the sketches and copies of their original journal entries in Lewis &Clark: an Illustrated History by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns. The DVD of this book is based on is also available.
Cooking on the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Mary Anderson has a recipe for Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes and some other simple recipes that were probably staples in the men’s diets along the trail. I also discovered that there are no Jerusalem Artichokes in Jerusalem! However, looking at the Eyewitness Travel Guide for Jerusalem &the Holy Land with all the historic and cultural places that you can visit, really makes me want to travel there.
Without Sacagawea, everyone on the expedition probably would have starved. There are many books about her. Most of them mention her finding and digging up roots and plants to help feed the men. Sacagawea: Westward with Lewis and Clark by Alana J White also tells the story of a near disaster with the boats and how she happened to save many books, clothes, a magnet, a microscope and the captain’s journals that were washed out of the pirogue. A few days later the two captains named a branch of the Musselshell River ‘Bird Woman’s River’ probably in her honor.
Northwest Foraging: the Classic Guide to Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest by Doug Benoliel lists many plants that you may even have in your yard. There are drawings and directions for using the plants, and information about whether you use the bulbs, the stalk, the leaves or flowers.
We have many areas in Washington where you can “get away from it all.” In case you decide to go hiking or camping up in the mountains, you may want to take SAS Survival Handbook: for Any Climate, in Any Situation by John “Lofty” Wiseman with you. You will learn how to harvest and safely prepare food, make a camp, basic first aid and many other things that you hope you will never need to know!