Ramps are in season right now
You might not live in an area where you can go look for them yourself, but you can often find them at the farmers’ market when they are in season. Walking through the woods you can find them looking like fresh green leaves sticking out of the ground. They grow in clusters and can at times be confused with Lily of the Valley as they look similar. Be mindful of that, because Lily of the Valley is poisonous. However, it’s easy once they are out of the ground, the Ramps smell of garlic and onion whilst the Lily if the Valley is odorless.
Ramps are somewhat rare to find though, since they only grow in specific conditions but also because when harvested, their root system is often destroyed and then don’t grow back the year after. They have to be cut at the bottom of the bulb rather than being pulled out of the ground so to leave their root system intact.
Now what are these little things?
Ramps are wild spring onion also considered wild garlic and have a very strong garlic taste. The stem can be cooked or eaten raw, it can also be pickled and used for later. The ramps only last for a couple of days in the fridge so if you go foraging, only take what you can use. The leaves are fantastic chopped and added fresh as garnish but can also have a light sauté. I will be posting some recipes using ramps over the next weeks.
Take a trip to the woods.
You will find ramps in the shaded areas where the ground is somewhat moist. But please consider the eco-sustainability of the ramps. They are being over-harvested and might soon disappear. Enjoy them and respect nature’s ability to give us food. Many foods can be found in the woods. There are herbs and plants, bulbs and fungi that can be eaten to sustain us and nourish us but it is also important to see how interconnected we are with nature. We need to respect, honor and care for our resources which feed us everyday.