Ramps, a.k.a. wild leek or Allium tricoccum, are a delicious spring food native to rich, moist, deciduous forests in the upper Midwest, Mid‑Atlantic, and northeastern United States. The stems and broad leaves have a mild garlic‑onion flavor and can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or pickled. They appear for a short period in the early spring and may even make it to your local supermarket. Should you have access to a wild patch, use a soil knife to harvest no more than 15 percent of the plants in any given year. If you have a suitable bit of woodland but no ramps, you can buy seed or bulbs and start a patch. A thick mulch of decomposing hardwood leaves will give the best results.
For detailed growing instructions, read Cultivation of Ramps, from NC State University's Department of Horticultural Science.
To buy ramp seeds, check out Ramp Farm Specialties.
For further informatipon on the growing and sowing of ramps, visit Seedman.com's Ramp Page.
Try our recipe for Ramp Pesto.