Ramp season

If you’ve never heard of them – well I’m not surprised. They’re a member of the allium family (along with garlic and onions) but ramps (or ramsons) grow wild throughout much of eastern north america.

I’ve actually never foraged for ramps before this year. And I was starting to think that’s a good thing. Ramps have been in the news ’round these parts for some pretty serious over-harvesting. But we went out for an early season hike, and along with all those wildflowers I posted about, we found these guys:

ramps

And lots more where they came from. I’ve heard you shouldn’t harvest more than a third of any wild thing when you’re foraging. We harvested less than a tenth of the ramps growing on the hillside we found.

What we brought home was just the right amount for us. I’ve got two jars of refrigerator pickles steeping at the back of my fridge:

ramps for pickling

And we made a ginger beef stir fry with the remaining ramps and all the leaves. The first green harvest of the season:

ramps with ginger beef

Of course this was two weeks ago. The dandelions are blooming now, so they’re up next! And just in case you’d forgotten, my book (Cast Iron, Cast On) has two recipes for edible dandelions!

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