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

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