While poking around the 'net for interesting survival tid bits, I came across a really good website on mesquite trees and their uses. Here's an excerpt:
Mesquite, the most common shrub or small tree in the Desert Southwest, forms fruit of bean-like pods in the fall that have long been a nutritious food source to humans, wildlife and livestock.
For Native Americans of the desert regions, mesquite was not only relied on as a dietary staple, but as the most important economic plant of their culture. The Papago, Pima, Yuman, Cocopa, Mohave and Cahuilla peoples of Arizona and California utilized all parts of the mesquite:
Bark - basketry, pottery, fabrics and medicine
Trunk & Branches - firewood, in the manufacture of bows, arrows, mortars and furniture
Thorns - awls and for tattooing
Leaves - making tea, used medicinally as an eyewash and for head and stomach aches
Sap - as a snack, glue and dye.
Wow! Who knew? Anyways, check out the rest of that site for more info, and even some recipes for mesquite tortillas, cornbread, and molasses. We got mesquite beans all over the place right now. I'm gonna gather me some and try 'em out, and I'll post the results later. Try it yourself, and if you know any more uses or recipes for mesquite, feel free to chime in! Here's some more mesquite recipes: