Camas

Today I slowed down enough to smell the (camas) flowers…they are finally starting to bloom. The camas is a native plant that grows on our south Puget Sound prairies. There are several varieties of camas- there is regular kind, the giant camas, which grows by the oak grove, and the rare white camas. I can’t differentiate the giant camas from the regular camas, but it is easy to differentiate the white camas from the more common blue camas. While the white camas is considered very rare, I seem to see it frequently.

These flowers have played a vital role in the life of the Native Americans who lived in these areas. The camas has a small bulb that is underground, somewhat like a tulip bulb, although much smaller. This bulb was dug up by the Indians who depended on it as a food source to help sustain them through the winter. The camas is now used by biologists as an indicator species-it is an indicator of the native plants present on the prairies and the health of the native plant ecosystem.

The areas with blooming camas now are the south facing hill sides or slopes. These receive more sunlight and warmth, and these flowers are ahead of the other camas. Depending on how warm it is will affect how fast the camas develops and makes flowers. At times it can be spectacular to see a large area of blue flowers. It is like a rolling sea of blue. I am hoping that in about 3-4 weeks the camas will be at its peak. And not surprising, that is why we have scheduled our “Colvin Ranch Day” for May 16. If everything works as planned, the weather cooperates, and the camas is in bloom, you will see a truly beautiful sight. Nature can work wonders.
I sent each of you with the last Cattle Tales an invitation to our Colvin Ranch Day. If you did not receive it, or have deleted it, I would be happy to send another one, just drop me an email.
The other significant news is that we are starting this week to schedule our harvest of grass fed (and finished) beef. This is a culmination of two years of work, feeding, and caring for our animals, and I think they look great. It is a gratifying sense of accomplishment to have them develop like they have, and it is even more satisfying for our customers to enjoy this beef.
If you have any interest in our beef for your freezer it is best to get your order in now before we are sold out. I can email you an order form, just let me know.
Fred
April 22, 2009

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