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Old 04-13-2015, 04:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
So, over the years I've heard so much about ramps. Whether it was through this forum, cooking shows, food network... I was almost a little embarrassed, since Im a vegetarian, and I had never even heard of them or seen them, let alone tried them.

Any time I went to the grocery stores, nothing. local farmers markets, nothing. So being an avid gardener, I figured I'd find some seeds somewhere and try to grow them myself. I did my research just to find out that they are typically found in the wild and are very very difficult to grow from seed.

Luckily, I scored myself some seeds, cause I figured I'd give it a try. I then saw the sowing instructions, and I was discouraged.

Sowing Instructions
Although ramp seeds can be sown anytime the soil is not frozen, late summer to early fall is usually considered the best time for seeding ramps. Fresh ramp seeds have a dormant, under-developed embryo. The seed requires a warm, moist period to break root dormancy and a subsequent cold period to break shoot dormancy. Some years there is enough warm weather after sowing in late summer or early fall to break root dormancy. The following winter cold breaks shoot dormancy and the plants emerge in spring. If there is not an adequate warm period after sowing, the seed will not germinate until the second spring. Thus, ramp seeds can take 6 to 18 months to germinate. Being able to provide adequate soil moisture and protection from wildlife are other key factors in determining where and when to sow seeds. Production from sowing seeds to root harvest can take 5 to 7 years. ( These were instructions I found online, but the ones included with my seeds instructed me to put them in the refrigerator for a few months , then take them out. Soak warm them, soak them, spread them under the leaves in a shady are with specific trees ....)

Anyway, my patience to try ramps was wearing thin,so I looked further on the internet, and saw I can order a bunch of ramps that would be overnighted to me . I was excited, I was finally going to get to try something that I had only heard about before. I ordered them. They arrived as promised. When I opened the box, I saw the nicest, freshest ramps. I was shocked they were in such good condition. There were so many, I knew I wouldn't be able to eat them all before they spoiled, so I got this brilliant idea. let me plant all the extras outside , in a shade area under the trees, in the leaves blah blah blah. I figured what do I have to lose.

I went outside and did just that. They looked good the first few days, then one after another they shriveled up and died. needless to say I was disappointed, but at least I had the opportunity to try them. They were good ( not great), but I only tried a few things ( I don't remember exactly what I did cause it was last year). I would love to have them more readily available so I can do more culinary experimenting with them.

So, for all you who stuck with through to read al the above crap, wondering what the point of my story was, now that the snow finally melted, the landscapers did a spring clean up and blew way all the leaves from my property, I did my early spring stroll through my yard to get and idea of whats going on. I see a bunch of small plants sprouting through the dirt. I couldn't figure out what they were, since they were only up about an inch or so. I didn't think much about it. A few days later ( yesterday) I did a second stroll and the plants were twice as big, and I was still curious as to what they were, then it hit me, could it be ??? So I plucked off a leaf, smelled it, was kind of oniony. Took a taste, and sure enough, it was a ramp. All the ramps I planted survived ( and then some). I would say there are over 5 dozen healthy young plants. I was ( and still am) so excited.

Sorry I bored anyone who made it to this point but I had to tell someone.

Larry
Not boring at all. I had to look ramps up and discovered that they are what we call ramsons or wild garlic. I used to walk my dog in a wooded area near to my home and in the season the air was filled with the garlicky aroma.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:17 PM   #12
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I enjoyed that story. I hope you enjoy your new perennial crop.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:38 PM   #13
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Not ramps but Craig picked up some beautiful spring onions with nice firm plump bulbs so guess we'll be doing something with those in next couple of days. He also got some Dominican eggplant.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:41 PM   #14
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Last year Rock posted about pickled ramps.

I did a Google search and saw several recipes.

It might be a good way to use an abundance of the little stinkers!
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:33 PM   #15
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Larry, that was a great story. It held my interest right until the very end.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:15 AM   #16
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Nice job, Farmer Larry! It sounds like you got a couple good suggestions on how to use them. Janet's potato and onions sounds especially good to me. However you fix them, enjoy. Right now, thanks to trendy chefs featuring ordinary foods, those ramps are probably going for $7 a pound at a boutique grocer.

I've never eaten them, but could I tell a story about smelling them? On my drive to and from work as a newlywed, one route I could take was a parkway connecting two Cleveland Metroparks. Every spring, after the snows melted and the ground would begin to warm, I could smell what I thought was wild spring onions. My Mom had a small plot of them in the garden, so I knew the smell was probably coming from something that looked like a small cluster of chives. When Himself and I drove through the area, we stopped to look for those onions. Nothing but a meadow full of taller sprouts that resembled Lily of the Valley greenery. Imagine my surprise ages later when I heard about the trendy "new" spring vegetable and saw a picture of...Lily of the Valley? Nope, ramps.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:58 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
I love fiddleheads too. Not that they have that unique of a taste, but definitely a conversation piece when cooking / eating them. I come across them every now and then in higher end grocery stores or farmers markets.
An easy way to clean the "paper" off fiddleheads is to rub them in a dish towel. The other thing, is that although you will see recipes to sauté them, they should be boiled (10-12 minutes) first and then sautéed (or steam them for about 20 minutes first). We have fiddleheads at the farm. I just like them sautéed, but I did see a recipe Thai recipe using fiddleheads that I'm thinking of trying this year (http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipe...ry-with-Shrimp). Re: ramps--waiting for them to come up. Ramps are also called wild leeks. I like to pickle the bulbs and make a roasted pesto out of the greens (roast the greens and then make them into pesto). I am hoping that the morel mushrooms come back...last year, it was May 25-26.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:03 AM   #18
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Larry, I noticed a book when I was at the library today that might interest you. IF you can find it at the library, that is, unless you intend to do more canning. They had two interesting recipes using the bulb and the leaves from ramps. The first was "Pickled Ramp Bulbs" and the second was "Ramp Greens Kimchi".

If you're interested, the book is "preserving by the pint" and the author is Marisa McClellan.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:48 AM   #19
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I had to google too and after a pictures of wheelchairs going into buildings , I found wild leeks.....
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:26 AM   #20
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Very interesting read Larry! For some reason I was thinking fiddleheads when you said ramps, both I've never tasted. So Mr.Google told me ramps are wild leeks, and these are the images I found. ;-)
ramps Pictures
I love fiddleheads. But their season is so short. You have to be right up there and mark your calendar when you get it in December of when you start to see them in the grocery store.
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