The Next Wild Ramp Shipments Will Go Out On 4-20-15

As the title says, the next orders will be shipping out on 4/20.  Please get your order in before Sunday 4/19 to be placed in this weeks shipments.

The order page is located here: Wild Ramp Order Form

Wild Ramps

If you have ramps in your area and want to dig them yourself, please remember a few key points in harvesting in a sustainable matter.

While many argue over what constitutes a healthy ramp population in a forest patch, I think it is best to harvest conservatively. Studies show that only 5 to 10 percent of the ramps in a patch should be harvested each year to ensure their future survival. When I harvest ramps, I do the following:

  1. Harvest only the largest ramps in a clump (ramps grow in clumps of 5 to 10). This assures that the smaller plants are left to mature and go to seed.
  2. If there are a number of large ramps in a clump, take—at most—only half the plants. By leaving some older ramps, it guarantees that the clump will recover.
  3. When harvesting, keep moving around the patch. This assures that you won’t accidentally harvest too many ramps from one location.

Taking these precautions guarantees that harvesting is done in a sustainable manner.

Looks Like Another Week For Ramp Bulbs

The cold snap this week slowed the growth of the ramps down a little bit, so we have another week of bulbs. If you haven’t ordered yet, you still have time.  You would primarily use these ramp bulbs for planting. I hope it warms up a bit this week so they can finally get some green tops on them!

The order form is located here; Ramp Bulbs Order Form

ramp bulbs for planting
ramp bulbs for planting

 

Ramp Bulbs Update – Last Week To Order

By now I hope several of you that have bought bulbs have had time to get them in the ground. The second round of orders should be arriving to everyone tomorrow or Wednesday. (Make sure you water them heavily after planting!)

The next orders of ramp bulbs will be shipping out on Monday 3-23-2015 and Tuesday 3-24-2015. If you want to plant some bulbs, please get your orders in before then. Some of the bulbs have started poking their heads above the ground, so I expect that in two weeks you will be ordering what you have been waiting on for so long….

This is an older picture, but we will be there in a couple of weeks. I know I can’t wait to get some of these in my belly along with some fried potatoes and bacon. Delicious!

Soon….very soon!

For now though, they’re still just bulbs. If you are interested in the bulbs, the order page with qty and pricing information is located here:  Ramp Bulbs for sale.

Who Wants Ramp Bulbs?

Greetings and Happy New Year once again to all of my fellow ramps connoisseurs.

I hope that the past year was good to you and I hope that 2015 is an even better year for you.

I have a question I would like to ask you today.

(PSSST… We’ve got a facebook page now. Give us a like. See it over there on the right? ———>)

Would you be interested in purchasing ramp bulbs before the official ramp season is underway? Ramp bulbs are easy to plant and a great way to get a head start on growing your own bumper crop, or just growing some so you will be able to pluck them fresh out of the ground, flower pot, or unique raised bed ramp garden that you create. (I’ve seen some really nice raised bed gardens that are just begging to have a few dozen ramps planted in them.)

Of course the ramp bulbs would be shipped complete with roots for transplanting, and would look very similar to this:

west virginia ramp bulbs

The bulbs are small because they shrink during the winter months, but quickly swell again as the sunlight warms the ground and the green leaves make their way to the sky.

So before I go out into the cold and begin harvesting bulbs, I would like to know if there is any interest in them. If you think you would like some, please leave me a comment in the space provided below. This in no way commits you to buying them if I sell them, but it gives me an idea as to whether or not it would be a worthwhile endeavor on my part.

How should I plant and grow these ramp bulbs?

For best growing results mimic how and where the ramps grow in the wild. In the wild Ramps grow in shaded areas (usually under trees) with an abundance of moisture and soil rich in organic matter. Look carefully around your gardening area for a tree that will provide a moist soil with lots of shade. Organic matter such as leaves should be abundantly added. Ramps grow naturally under a forest canopy of beech, birch, sugar maple, and/or poplar. Other forest trees under which ramps will grow include buckeye, linden (basswood), hickory, and oak. A forested area with any of these trees present provides an ideal location for planting a ramp crop. Areas that host trillium, tooth wort, nettle, black cohos, ginseng, bloodroot, trout lily, bell wort, and may apple should be suitable for growing ramps. If there is not a wooded area available to grow ramps, a shade structure can be erected over the planting site.

Hardwood leaves provide the best mulch for ramps. Poor results have been obtained with pine bark and commercial mulches and they should be avoided. The effects of mulching are numerous: decaying organic matter provides essential elements like nitrogen, much needed moisture is retained within the mulched area, and the mulch acts as an insulator to protect the plants in sub-zero temperatures. In addition, mulching helps to suppress weeds as well as protect newly sown seeds, seedlings, and ramp bulbs from wildlife.

I would rather plant my ramp bulbs in the woods.

That’s a great idea also! To plant under a forested canopy, rake back the leaves on the forest floor, removing any unwanted weeds, tree sprouts, or roots. If the soil is not naturally high in organic matter, incorporate organic materials such as composted leaves and other decaying plant material from the forest. Loosen the soil and rake to prepare a fine bed. Sow bulbs about 1/2 to 1 inch a part pressing them gently into the soil. Cover bulbs with several inches of leaves to retain moisture in the soil and to protect the bulbs from the wildlife. When using artificial shade, ensure that you till plenty of organic matter into the soil prior to sowing your bulbs.

Now That Ramp Season Is Over, Try Our Ramp Seasoning

Now that the 2014 Ramp Season is behind us, make sure you try our ramp seasoning.  People are loving this stuff. It is a great way to extend the flavor of ramps for a few more months, and try it on some great new recipes. I personally love sprinkling it on a couple of fried eggs. It’s great in tomato soup too! So give it a shot, it’s great stuff!

ramp seasoning
A little goes a long way!

The Appalachian Delicacy

This is the last week to buy ramps from me. The last shipment of fresh ramps for the year will be going out on 5/5.  We are lucky we got as many weeks in as we did this year. It turned out to be the longest season we’ve had in a couple of years. So, if you want more ramps, order them now.  Also, the ramp seasoning was a hit. I knew that our supply would sell out, but I didn’t realize it would sell out in less than 12 hours. We are currently in the process of making more, and I hope to have it ready by this weekend. Keep checking the ramp seasoning page for an update of when it is back in stock. Or, sign up for the mailing list over on the right and I will send everyone an email when it is ready.

One more thing. A young lady asked me if she could write a few words about her and her friends ramp digging, and put it here. I have no problem with that and I didn’t figure you guys would either. Enjoy her story!

Everybody talks about the pungent odor of ramps, but digging the Appalachian delicacy produces a different set of concerns: My legs are tired. My back is hurting. I am hungry. My nose is running. And my burlap bag is filling very, very slowly. I have come to this hillside with a group of friends who had eaten ramps at a neighbor’s house and wanted to try to dig them up and make them themselves.

I had gone before and wanted to help them out. I led them across a rocky slope and into the fog where the hillside is covered by long, green leaves. Those are the ramps. They almost look like thick hair there are so many. The hillside is steep and chilly and damp. It is a hike to get up to where the ramps actually are and we are all slightly winded by the time we make it up to our spot.

Some people think it’s easy to dig up a wild ramp but it is not! You are bent over and crouched, whacking away at them. My friends have never done this before and didn’t quite know what to expect. Luckily I thought to remind them to dress warmly and wear sturdy shoes. My friend Marie is winded before we are even halfway up the slope.

When we finally get to where the most ramps are, they are all amazed by how many there are. I let them start digging and go around and give them tips to make it easier on them. Our goal is to fill one sack each because if we trudged all the way up here then we wanted to make sure it was worth it. At the beginning we were joking and laughing about the task in front of us but now that the work is under way we’ve gotten a little quieter. Oh of course we still laugh when Laurel falls on her butt in the mud with a ramp in her hand. She laughs with us and I realize that doing this with friends makes it way more fun!

As we each fill our own sack we help each other with the rest of them, trying to spread out the work. By the time they’re all filled we have all fallen in the mud at least once (or 4 times in Kari’s case!), we’re soaked through our clothes and really, really hungry. And we still had to get these bags back down the hill! Marie tried rolling hers. I just sat back and let her try even though I knew that didn’t work. After her ramps started to fall out she caught the bag and looked at me for directions. I slung the bag over my shoulder and started walking down the hill.

The girls all followed me, one even started whistling “Hi ho hi ho” from Snow White. By the time we got to the bottom we were muddier still! We washed off our hands in the creek and piled the bags (and ourselves) into our cars. We definitely deserved a nice hot lunch at the local diner after this trip!

Appalachian Delicacy

Shipping Wild Ramps

Shipping Wild Ramps – The first part of this weeks orders

Here is a little insight on how we ship our ramps. What you see in the baskets is half of all of this weeks orders. We dug these today, sorted and stacked them as we dug. After much digging we brought them home and put them in the baskets. From here they will go into our cooler so they stay fresh.

Tomorrow we will go out at first light and dig the other half of this weeks orders, and do the same thing to those.  The shipping labels and boxes will be prepared over the weekend, and the ramps will be packaged and shipped first thing Monday morning. (The lady at the post office really “loves” ramp day. She grimaces every Monday when she sees me coming with boxes and boxes of the odoriferous green forest herbs. I don’t think she likes the smell.)

Continue reading “Shipping Wild Ramps”

Another Batch Of WV Ramps Shipping On 4/21

We will harvest another batch of WV Ramps this weekend during our weekly dig and we will be shipping them out on 4/21.

We expect to keep harvesting for a few more weeks. The mild weather coming in (it’s actually supposed to snow tomorrow!) should slow the growth down a little bit and allow us some extra harvest time. Last year was one of the shortest harvest seasons we have had in a while and I am hoping we more than make up for that this year. We are on track so far. We are currently at three weeks into the season and it looks like it should definitely be lasting for another two or three weeks at least. Wouldn’t that be nice? To have a full month or two of all the ramps you can eat? Sounds like a good time to me!

Here is the Wild Ramps Order Form for those of you who still have not ordered, or are ready to order your second or your third batch.

In the meantime I have a WV Ramps question for you guys.

Continue reading “Another Batch Of WV Ramps Shipping On 4/21”