Hi folks. Just wanted to let you know that last weeks wild ramp orders are shipping out on Monday 4/14. We had another great week weather wise, and the wild ramp orders were numerous with several folks buying their second batch of the year. Thank you guys so much. We enjoy digging and shipping these wild ramps to spread what we believe is one of Appalachia’s best culinary secrets.
As I told you in the previous post, the ramps were still quite small. But, after a good week of warmer temperatures and some much needed sunlight, the ramps have sprung up quickly. What you see in the picture is a handful of the ramps that are shipping out on 4/7. We had an excellent ramp harvest today with some of the ramp bottoms being as large as garden onions.
If you were waiting to place your order due to the small size, you are safe to order now. These are some great looking ramps. (Sorry for the horrible picture quality. It was getting dark and I was exhausted.)
To all of you who have already ordered, your orders will be shipped out on Monday 4/7.
It’s time! It’s time!
Ramps Vegetable are now ready for 2014!
We expect to start shipping out the first boxes of ramps the week of March 31st.
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. The smaller ramps look like this. Some have more green, some have less green, some are just bulbs, but completely edible. This is the size that most locals prefer to eat them.
Spring for some is a crocus peeking through the snow or the sighting of a robin after a long hard winter, while others insist that it is the burst of purple that flowers on the Eastern Redbud tree. But for many natives, the harvest of ramps in West Virginia and the subsequent onslaught of ramp celebrations, festivals, and dinners is the only sure sign that spring has sprung.
Allium tricoccum, wild leek, wild onion, spring tonic, or most commonly, the ramp is a wild plant that grows in the mountains of Appalachia. It resembles a scallion and tastes like a cross between an onion and garlic. More often than not, they are charged with having an offensively pungent smell. “In early April, step out on your porch and point your nose in this direction, and you just might smell them, ” jokes Helvetia resident Betty Biggs.
In my opinion, nothing rivals the thrill of finding deep green colored wild ramps after a long, cold, gray winter. Especially after these West Virginia winters that seem to last for months on end.
I fell in love with ramps years ago when I was a kid and my family ventured around to various ramp festivals across the state, before I even knew where to dig them out of the ground. Not only are they tasty, they are a beautiful plant. Strong but slender with deep green leaves, a beautiful purple stem and seam that runs up the leaves.
Before I get started here, I would like to welcome you. I am Bucky from bloggingwv.com. I started out selling Wild Ramps over there a few years ago, with much success. I have recently felt the need to start a new website with a more professional look, that is fully dedicated to nothing but ramps, including recipes. I assure you that you will receive the same quality service that you are accustomed to receiving from me even though my look is a little different this year. So once again, welcome to the new place.
I figured I would start out my new place with some interesting facts about Wild Ramps. Hey, I have to have something to do while I wait for them to grow!
Wild Ramps Characteristics
Allium tricoccum (commonly known as ramps or wild leeks) is an early spring vegetable, a perennial wild onion with a strong garlic-like odor and a pronounced onion flavor. Wild Ramps are found across eastern North America, from the U.S. state of South Carolina to Canada. They are popular in the cuisines of the rural uplands of the American South, and also in the Canadian province of Quebec. Wild Ramps also have a growing popularity in upscale restaurants throughout North America. A lot of high profile Chefs charge high prices for small portions of this amazing Ramps vegetable.
The ramp has broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems, and a scallion-like stalk and bulb. Both the white lower leaf stalks and the broad green leaves are edible. The locals prefer the bulbs much more than the leaves. In fact, a lot of folks will discard the leaves once they get large and use only the bulbs. The flower stalk only appears after the leaves have died back. After the flower dies off, there is a seed pod remaining that contains 10 to 15 seeds. Wild Ramps grow in groups strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil.
In Canada, ramps are considered rare delicacies. Since the growth of Wild Ramps is not as widespread as in Appalachia and because of destructive human practices, ramps are a threatened species in Quebec. Allium tricoccum is a protected species under Quebec legislation. A person may have Wild Ramps in his or her possession outside the plant’s natural environment, or may harvest it for the purposes of personal consumption in an annual quantity not exceeding 200 grams of any of its parts or a maximum of 50 bulbs or 50 plants, provided those activities do not take place in a park within the meaning of the National Parks Act. The protected status also prohibits any commercial transactions of Wild Ramps; this prevents restaurants from serving Wild Ramps as is done in the United States. Failure to comply with these laws is punishable by a fine. However, the law does not always stop poachers, who find a ready market across the border in Ontario (especially in the Ottawa area), where Wild Ramps may be legally harvested and sold.
The last paragraph is hard to grasp for me since I was born and raised in West Virginia. Maybe Wild Ramps just grow exceptionally well in the area in which I live because no matter which way I turn in the woods there are Wild Ramps. I can’t fathom a world right now without Wild Ramps in it. That would be a sad world….sad indeed.