For only a couple of short weeks, the Sego Lily blooms in first part of July and we have fields of thousands, as far as the eye can see. The bulbous root about the size of a walnut, is sweet and nutritious, and was used as food by Indians and Mormon pioneers , who consumed the bulb in large quantities. It was eaten cooked or raw, boiled it tastes like a potato. The Indians frequently ground it and made bread from the starchy meal. I found this next info from a favorite cook book my mamma gave me years ago : The Sego Lily was declared to be the Utah floral emblem on march 18, 1911
Kate C. Snow, once president of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, in a letter dated April 17, 1930, wrote that between 1840 and 1851, food became very scarce in Utah due to a crop-devouring plague of crickets, and that the families were put on rations, and during this time they learned to dig for and eat the soft, bulbous root of the Sego Lily. The memory of this use, quite as much as the natural beauty of the flower, caused it to be selected in after years by the legislature as the floral emblem of the state. Also noteworthy as a food staple in our backyard - Utah Service-berry, it was dried and pressed into cakes for winter use. They made Pemmican by pounding the dried berries together with dried buffalo or deer meat. This was then mixed with fat and made into cakes. Also in our area and used as food - Juniper berries - Pinyon pine nuts - roots of Arrow leaf Balsamroot - Elderberry, who's poisonous hollow stems were used for much more. There is such a long list of ornate and poisonous plants, and used for so many fascinating things, that I must just end this blog now! I think we will still be getting our food stash from Al's Food Town.
Fun Utah Facts
The name Utah comes from the Native American Ute Tribe and means people of the mountain. Utah has five national parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef. Utah has seven national monuments: Cedar Breaks, Natural Bridges, Dinosaur, Rainbow Bridge, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Timpanogos Cave and Hovenweep. Utah has six national forests: Ashley, Dixie, Fishlake, Manti-Lasal, Uinta, and Wasatch-Cache. Utah has two national recreational areas: Flaming Gorge and Glen Canyon. Utah covers 84,900 square miles of land and is ranked 11th largest state. The Great Salt Lake, which is about 75 miles long and 35 miles wide, covers more than a million acres. Of the 50 states, Utah has the youngest population; one of the highest birth rates; the second lowest death rate; the heathiest population; the hightest literacy rate; the highest percent of high school graduates; and the highest number of people with a college education.