Ramps Are Now Shipping For 2017

It’s that time of year again folks. The ramps are starting to pop up through the ground!

Please note that these first week ramps will be the smaller yet stronger variety. They still do not have a large amount of green on them, but it is at this stage they are at their tastiest (according to the locals- myself included). The smaller ramps look like this. Some have more green, some have less green, but they are full of flavor. This is the size that most locals prefer to eat them. This is when they are most tender.

If you prefer the larger leafier ramps, you will have to wait another week or two to place your order. If you want the large ramps, please do not order now. or your ramps may be smaller than you expected.

If you like the smaller more pungent plants, please feel free to order now.

The order page with qty and pricing information is located here:  Wild West Virginia Ramps For Sale!

It’s Almost Time To Start Shipping Ramps

Hi Everyone.

The ramps seem to be growing a little bit slower this year. By this time last year, we had already processed the first weeks shipment. But fear not! I feel quite strongly that I should be able to start taking ramp orders by 3/27. That means that the first plants of the year should be shipping out on 4/3. Fingers crossed!

HELLO SPRING!

Do You Know The Whole Story Behind WV’s State Food?

(IT’S NOT RAMPS!)

West Virginia’s state food may be simple, but its story sure isn’t.

Pepperoni rolls are elegantly simple, but uniquely West Virginian: country roll dough filled with sticks or slices of pepperoni. The treat has deep roots in the coal industry (much like our state itself.)

You can trace it back to North-Central West Virginia, when Italian immigrants came to work in the coal mines. Miners would work long hours, and they needed a filling, simple lunch they could take with them into the mines.

The first pepperoni rolls were probably created by miners’ wives, but they were first commercially produced around 1927. When Giuseppe Argiro, who emigrated from Calabria, Italy, to work in a Clarksburg-area coal mine, opened a bakery in Fairmont, he remembered his coal miner friends would eat a stick of salami or pepperoni in one hand and a piece of bread in the other.

So he had an idea: why not combine the 2?

wv pepperoni rolls

What he created was the pepperoni roll, a portable, shelf-stable snack that allowed miners to eat with one hand, drink water with the other, then continue back to work quickly. He experimented with his new snack— trying different bread dough recipes, various kinds of pepperoni and changing up the proportions.

The pepperoni roll was a hit. It sold by the dozen at the bakery for about 45 cents each. Other bakeries followed Giuseppe’s lead. Tomaro’s Bakery, the oldest Italian bakery in the state and just a few miles away in Clarksburg, developed their version of the pepperoni roll around the same time. A handful of others followed in line, which helped cement the pepperoni roll in West Virginia’s food culture.

Giuseppe’s original bakery, Country Club Bakery, is still in operation today, still baking up its staple pepperoni roll recipe fresh every day. You can try the original, and also explore all the flavorful variations right there in the snack’s homeland.

The original pepperoni roll was just a few sticks of spicy pepperoni in a fluffy roll, but other bakeries put their own spin on it, like sliced or even ground pepperoni. Some added cheese, sauce or peppers. You can even get mini versions!

North-Central West Virginia bakeries like D’Annunzio’s Italian Bread, Abruzzino’s Italian Bakery, Chico Bakery (Home of Julia’s Pepperoni Rolls), Colasessano’s World Famous Pizza & Pepperoni Buns, Rogers and Mazza’s Italian Bakery (Marty’s), and Home Industry Bakery all have their own unique takes on the treat.

Even donut shops like The Donut Shop in Buckhannon and JR’s Donut Castle in Parkersburg have added the savory snack to their sweet lineup.

But you can find pepperoni rolls almost anywhere throughout the state. For quick snacks, they’re in nearly every convenience store and gas station.

However you choose to eat your pepperoni roll, you’ve gotta try this unique Mountain State treat next time you’re exploring West Virginia.

In the meantime, you can purchase Ramp Bulbs or Ramp Plants.

One Persons Experience In Planting Ramp Bulbs

While my goal is to only grow Italian originated plants America does have one botanical treasure that the Italians don’t have… ramps!

Ramps are a type of American wild leek that taste like a cross between a garlic and an onion. They are extremely pungent but at the same time have an exquisite earthy flavor. As you cook them they get milder and develop that delicious garlic/onion flavor. You can find out more about ramps here.

I was able to source about a 100 ramp bulbs from a farm down in West Virginia (Mail order only). I just got them a few days ago and today was a perfect day to plant them. Since my garden is already allocated to the max with future plant homes, I decided that the best way to grow these ramps was in one of the available 4×4 raised beds I had. All I did was dig my trowel about 7 inches deep into the soil and moved it left to right in order to make a ‘V’ shaped well for the ramp bulb. I kept the spacing pretty close as I want the bed to get filled with ramps. Once the bed is established I plan to take chunks of ramps and transplant them out to other areas of the property other than the garden.

You can order ramp bulbs here.

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Fall 2016 Ramp Bulbs Are Shipping

I hope this message finds everyone well and in good health. I want to thank all of you for your emails of concern when southern West Virginia was experiencing the devastating flooding a few months ago. My home and family stayed dry, but I had a lot of friends that were not so lucky. That being said, let’s push 2016 out of here and get ready for a brand new year.

And since we are close to the beginning of a new year, I have some excellent news to share with you. Ramps bulbs are shipping for fall of 2016. Since the weather has been unseasonably nice so far, you will be able to plant these guys now and they can wait out the spring underground. Expect to see them popping up out of the ground around the first week of April.

You can find the order page by clicking here.

ramp-bulbs

A Couple Of Books You May Be Interested In

Hi!

Now that ramp season is behind us, I find myself with a lot of time to read. Here are the latest two books that I read and I wanted to share them with you. I really enjoyed reading these books and I feel that you will enjoy them also.

The first one is Farming the Woods: An Integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests.

And the second one is The Art of Cooking Morels.

 

I highly recommend these books! I have thoroughly enjoyed them.

farming in the woods
Farming the Woods covers in detail how to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value non-timber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, ornamental ferns, and more. Comprehensive information is also offered on historical perspectives of forest farming; mimicking the forest in a changing climate; cultivation of medicinal crops; creating a forest nursery; harvesting and utilizing wood products; the role of animals in the forest farm; and how to design and manage your forest farm once it’s set up. This book is a must-read for farmers and gardeners interested in incorporating aspects of agroforestry, permaculture, forest gardening, and sustainable woodlot management into the concept of a whole-farm organism.

the art of cooking morels
Morels have captured the imagination of America’s cooks: more than any other mushroom, they entice chefs to forage in the wilderness each spring, attempting to find the treasured, honeycombed fungus in its hiding places in the wild. In The Art of Cooking Morels , Ruth Mossok Johnston brings together more than 80 recipes for this delicacy, suitable for cooking with fresh mushrooms in season or dried year-round. The recipes, accompanied by stunning full-color illustrations, offer options for appetizers, soups, entrées, and side dishes from simple and elegant to exotic and sophisticated, and always mindful of highlighting the delicate morel. Johnston’s recipes are heart healthy, inventive, and delicious. The author also includes instructions for handling, storing, and preserving morels.