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Camas Planting Event December 4th 2022

 
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The Cowlitz Tribe is hosting their 2nd annual Camas planting event this Sunday in Toledo Washington. It is occuring from 11 AM to 2 PM and they are providing lunch. More details are over on the Event Brite page. But check out this video of tribal members harvesting and preparing Camas bulbs from back in 2020.

 
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Thanks for posting this Jeremy.
It looks like I've been under a misapprehension. Camas is one of the new world plants that I have been trying out growing here - they seem to grow pretty well. But for some reason I thought they were harvested in autumn along with silverweed, springbank clover and rice root - all together. It seems a pity to harvest when in bloom, but it certainly makes finding them a lot easier! I wanted to try digging mine for the first time this autumn, but couldn't quite remember where they were, so have left them for another year. Maybe I'll try them this spring coming instead.
 
Jeremy VanGelder
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Yes, they are harvested while in bloom, for a very good reason. There is another bulb that looks the same and grows in the same environment, but it is called Death Camas. As it's name implies, Death Camas is poisonous. It is very difficult to see the difference from the bulb and the leaves, but Death Camas has a yellow flower. I don't know if you have Death Camas in Great Britain.
 
Nancy Reading
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Thanks Jeremy,
Neither death camas nor camas are native here - I couldn't find death camas (Toxicoscordion venenosum) as a garden bulb when I looked just now but several varieties of Camassia are available - usually just sold as garden ornamental flowers. As long as I don't get mixed up with my daffodils I should be fine!

(edit typo)
 
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How was the event? I'm very interested in learning more about camas but didn't see your post until just now. I love seeing it bloom along the roadsides here every spring.
 
Jeremy VanGelder
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I did not make it to the event. But their Facebook post has some photos. They planted 1200 bulbs in less than an hour. It looks like the field where they planted is next to the big metal monuments on I-5.

Facebook Post with pictures
 
Jeremy VanGelder
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To learn more about the Cowlitz Tribe's food system, you can read their Food Sovereignty Assessment that was just released. The tribe is working hard to feed its members and teach both ancestral skills and sustainable techniques.
 
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