Thursday, January 27, 2011


Camas . . .

A late spring showy lily
.. turns Wallowa prairies and swales
..... a deep purplish hue . . .

Elk often snip heads
.. yet across Zumwalt prairie
..... the bloom seems vast.

Easily dug, often harvested,
.. the raw bulbs are edible,
..... a mucilagineous and starchy bulb.

Long slow cooking
.. as in a pit oven, overnight
..... converts starch to fructose.

Emerging black gooey lumps
.. taste awesomely sweet
..... a treat in sugar poor environment.

Camas baked with couse
.. combines the sweetness
..... with potato-like starchiness.

Combined camas-couse
.. bakings, shaped and dried
..... make stable long-term staples.

Vernal wetland restoration,
.. garden-stock for comestibles
..... and showy garden color, today.

Ancient ethnobotanical traditions
.. with neoteric applications
..... offer multiple rewards for foraging.

-- r.anderson