IMG_2083  Ramps (Allium Tricoccum) or wild leeks are one the best spring time delicacies of the Appalachian region, the bulbs can be treated like an onion, and the leafy greens are sweet and equally delicious. One of the few specialty foods that are wild harvested, ramps can, in fact, be cultivated, but they have many limitations as a crop. Sown from seed, ramps have a six to eighteen month germination window, which is very much dependent upon weather patterns, and they can take seven years to reach maturity. Only 10 percent of a stand of ramps should be dug (not picked) in order to ensure the stability of that colony. Our skepticism comes in as the widespread use of ramps increases. Many people now are concern about where their food is coming from such as meat and produce but this same concern should be extended to ramps and other wild plants that are being decimated by the high national demand for a very regional vegetable. Ramps are very slow growing and in places where heavy harvesting has occurred, it will take many years for the population to recover. We are very fortunate to have considerable amount of ramps growing around where we live. Follow us and be part of our ramp foraging journey in these deciduous forest to take advantage of this delicious, highly desired gem.

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