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Would You Eat Pigweed?

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

Picture of pigweed
Pigweed Plant

It's Pigweed

Life in 2021 is filled with so many conveniences—central air and heat, cars, air travel, well-stocked grocery stores to name a few. I’ve been reading about three groups who lived through very different circumstances. You won’t be surprised Mormon colonists comprise one of the groups, and some from the other two groups also settled in the colonies.

Like true refugees, the Mormon colonists didn’t have many material possessions when they reached Mexico, and it took time for them to secure a permanent place to live. While camped beside the Casa Grandes River, Teressa Richardson ignored instructions for her safety, strapped a six-shooter around her waist, and snuck up river to gather pigweed. Just the name makes me think she must have been desperate. At another time, she suffered from scurvy.

The Mormon Battalion tramped across deserts and mountains on scant rations and hardly any water. Some had no shoes. Ouch! I’ve never liked going barefoot outside even for a few minutes.

Another group who persevered under difficult conditions were those who pioneered the Muddy River Valley in Nevada. I recently read about them in the excellent novel by Dean Hughes, Muddy. What a hot, dry, disease-ridden, miserable place to eke out a living. A century later, I spent a week there visiting a college roommate. All I can say is thank goodness for air conditioning.

Yep, I think we’re spoiled, or at least I am.


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