Ramp Season

Posted: May 15, 2013 in Food, Wellness & Healing
Tags: , , , , , ,


Three of my Little Preppers went on a walk along the creek in back of our house the other day to hunt down some ramps. DSC_0016

(I don’t know if “Little” would be the correct way to describe my older kids. They’re not so little anymore. One is actually an adult. So, I haven’t quite figured out a better thing to call them yet )

Ramps are pretty awesome. Some people call them wild leeks and they are close to real leeks but not quite. For one thing, ramps are much easier to clean and prepare. They grow in wet ,woody places, usually near streams or ponds and lakes. In the springtime , you’ll be able to smell them before you see them usually. They have a garlicky -oniony scent. To harvest, you just give a yank and they come right up out of the ground.

They’re really  pungent,actually. My whole kitchen reeked for a day or two after the kids brought them home. There’s a festival in Pennsylvania celebrating ramps that’s called “Stinkfest”.  Not hard to smell why.

In my area in upstate NY, local restaurants that feature local,in season foods love the springtime and ramp season. You use ramps in dishes just like you would onions or leeks but it does have a distinctive flavor of it’s own.

If you’re lucky enough to know where a huge patch of ramps is, you can make some nice extra income in the Spring selling your harvest to local restaurants.

There have been some problems in some places due to over harvesting and environment destruction. In Maine, Rhode Island, and Tennessee, ramps are on the “special concern” list . In Quebec, ramps are a protected plant species and you can only harvest a limited amount.

If you can harvest ramps where you live, it’s worth exploring woods and clearings to find them. Obviously not on private property but I didn’t really have to say that,did I?
They’re high in Vitamin A & Vitamin C and also a good source of selenium and chromium. Selenium is one of those super helpful antioxidants that may be helpful in relieving symptoms of asthma,cystic fibrosis…and dandruff. Chromium helps metabolize fats,carbs ,and insulin.

To use ramps, all you need to do is clean the dirt off of them and trim the bulb from the stem and roots.Use the bulbs as you would onions. You can use them fresh or store them in airtight containers in the freezer. I’ve never tried it but I do know that you can also use the leaves to make pesto. Some people also pickle and can them.

  1. gregsarmas says:

    Until a few years ago I never realized what these were. There are so many here in Northern Illinois it’s almost hard to believe they’ve been over harvested in other areas. I do pick them but always have to remember that if I see ten, I leave at least four for next year. They seem to propagate very easily if left alone. In April here there are entire forest that seem to be blanketed with them. I was just wondering if Squirrels eat them and bury some for later? That would explain how they end up in strange places like the middle of lawns here.

  2. Natalie says:

    I keep hearing about ramps and then forget all about them. This time, I have pinned your page to remember to look into them. Thanks for providing the pinterest button at the bottom to make it so easy.

  3. Elle says:

    Spawn. They are “Prepper Spawn”. 🙂

  4. […] written about foraging a little bit on my other blogs…most recently this past Spring when my older kids went out and foraged ramps. The blackberries are just ripening now in my favorite picking spot, so I’ll probably do a […]

  5. Lora says:

    They are delicious in fried potatoes and sometimes we even add pepperoni in it yum.

  6. Jupiter says:

    Reblogged this on Poor as Folk and commented:

    Hey, it’s almost ramp season. I’m excited. Probably more than I should be .

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