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.
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.