Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ramps, Good Eatin?

Picture from www.bloggingwv.com
  Here in West Virginia it is coming the time of the year were people will grab up their hand shovels and head into the woods to dig up some wonderful tasting "Ramps"! You might be wondering at this point, what in the heck are ramps? Ramps are in the same family as onions, garlic and leeks. The leaves look a lot like that of the Lily of the Valley. They start growing right about now and don't have a very long growing season, so you have to get them quick before they go away! Here is a more in depth research  from "NCSU on "Ramps". Can you grow ramps at home in your garden? You sure can but I would do lots of research on them before you do (good article coming up). They have to have a specific soil type and shaded area before they will grow well! Can you eat them? I love them, they are great to eat with almost anything. I will tell you though don't expect to get to many hugs or kisses from your spouse or anyone else for that matter if you eat them for at least a couple of days, they really stick with you!  In old times ramps were thought to have a medicinal uses for many different thing "A Modern Herbal". Here is another great article on everything that we have talked bout so far "Wild Leeks of Appalachia", especially growing them yourself. We also have a "Ramp Festival" you can go to if you are in the Richmond area, "Ramp Festival"!
  I have to tell you a funny story about the first time my wife was introduced to ramps, by me. We hadn't been married that long and we both had had to work that day. Well, I was gonna be home before her, so I called her and asked what was for dinner. She told me and as we were talking I drove by a guy who was selling ramps beside the road. I told her I was gonna stop and buy some to have with dinner. I could hear a pause in her voice, she either new what they were and didn't tell me or was trying to figure out what they were. Long story short, while I was cleaning the little guys, I opened up all the windows in the house, then started cooking them. Oh, they smelled so good to me (I thought anyway), I couldn't wait! I heard my wife pull into the driveway, the car turn off and the door shut! A looong silent pause, looong! Then I heard from my beautiful new bride, "What in the $%#@ is that smell"? This was while she was out side. When she came in the door, I heard, "Clint what is that smell"? I was a little afraid to say by this point. So I graciously said, "maybe I should finish cooking these on the grill!" She kindly agreed and in 17 years I have never cooked them in the house again. Most of the time I just go to a local Ramp Dinner, it saves time and weeks of airing the house out. But they are very good eatin I tell you, if you have never tried one try it, you might be surprised! 

51 comments:

  1. A few years ago I bought some ramps for the first time. We liked them but I don't remember them smelling up the house. We planted some of them on our property. They came up last year. I hope they spread out more so we can start harvesting them here at our house!

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  2. I've heard of ramps, but never seen them or eaten them -- sounds like they are an "uplander" food, probably wouldn't grow (wild at least) down here in the hot humid Mississippi valley/delta. My #3 daughter will be going to college in east Tennessee next fall -- maybe she will encounter ramps.

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    1. They don't like the heat. Thats when they start to die back here is when it starts getting really warm.

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  3. Hahahaha what a great story! I have never tried ramps but if I see them growing wild I will definitely try some!

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    1. I like them a lot, you can order them from some site!

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  4. What a funny memory! I have never had ramps; they are not in our area..but, you make them sound like quite a treat.

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    1. I know you can by them on line from some sites, if you really want to try them or even raise them!

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  5. I've never heard of Ramps and probably will never cook any if they smell that bad! Thanks for the funny story of your introduction of Ramps to your wife.

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    1. If you like garlic or onions you will like ramps!

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  6. I've never cooked with ramps, but need to make a point of doing so. West Virginia is a special place. As a young boy, I recall chasing fireflies through an apple orchard during a trip to visit relatives.

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    1. I guess they serve them up in fancy restaurants! You should try them.

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  7. I remember the stories telling how ramps were the first greens of the year and the settlers survived by eating them until crops came in. I've always wanted to know more about them, hoping I could get some growing here, if they already are not. When I get home from work I'll have to read your links.

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    1. That is true Kathy, they were the first greens to pop up!

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  8. Wonder if we have these growing on our land anywhere.

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  9. Thanks for shedding light on that elusive treat! I've been reading more about cultivating ramps. They definitely seem to be getting more attention as table fare, a revival of the past!

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    1. I think they are as well. I believe they are very good!

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    1. Oh, Your Welcome! Hmmmm....Maybe I will try a ramp.
      First I would have to find some though.

      -Farm Girl

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    2. I posted some links to but them, down on Leigh!

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  11. Thanks Clint for sharing. I like many have never heard of them maybe it is because South Carolina is too hot and humid?
    It is good to learn of other things..good read.

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    1. You can order them and have them shipped!

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  12. I've been looking where to buy some for a long time. Someone gave me a source but they were sold out not to mention high (something like $5 a piece for ramps to plant.) We have a lot of shade and they are recommended in Edible Forest Garden.

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    1. If you could come to the Ramp festival, you could find seed or bulbs cheap!
      http://www.seedman.com/ramps.htm
      http://www.earthy.com/product2.cfm?Product_ID=146

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  13. I have never heard of ramps so maybe they're not growing wild here in California, but I sure would like to try them sometime. I love leeks, garlic, and onion, so I expect I'll like them too. Thank you Clint for sharing them with us. I hope to look for them and find some. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. I do think Ramps grow in the Northern Part of California! Check and see.

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    2. I did some more research, it appears that they do not!

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  14. I put a map of the states that have Ramps on the post for all of you!

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  15. oh my neighbor told me about these once and pulled some up from the yard...i've never tried to eat one though, but will give it a go, cooking on the grill lol

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  16. I have never heard of Ramps before. Interesting. And then I noticed that my little state (SC) is NOT colored in green. :(

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  17. I LOVE ramps, especially when fried with garlic, onions and potatoes...sometimes a bit of sausage thrown in. YUMMY! They aren't quite ready, here in southwest Virginia, bu soon...very, very soon.

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    1. Oh Yeh! That sounds good! Our Mayor has a Ramp Breakfast!

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  18. I'll keep my eye out for these.

    Thanks so much for sharing at Rural Thursdays!

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  19. Ramps are a new one on m , but I am VERY happy for the knowledge!

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    1. Hello, Glad you stopped in! They are pretty good eatin!

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  20. I know we would love ramps. We grow green onions in our garden. I use them in so many things. Hugs P.S> thank you for joining in the blog hop fun :-)

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  21. I am so going foraging for some of these soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  22. This is the first I have ever heard of Ramps. What a neat article! One day, maybe I will have the opportunity to try them!
    I am happy to say that I am your newest follower...and very glad to be!
    Once again I am just loving the tour of all the gardens that have linked in to my little party! I am so excited to visit each and every post...they are all so inspiring and I am NEVER disappointed! The creative gardens and colorful displays that I am lucky to see are inspirations that I would never have found had I not found each of the gardeners I see online! Thank you so much for sharing your garden with my Friday Flaunt this week...I do hope you will link in again soon!
    This post is being shared on my Tootsie Time Facebook page too just so you are aware.
    (¯`v´¯)
    `*.¸.*´Glenda/Tootsie
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

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  23. Stopping by, thanks for checking out my garden post from last week. Came by to follow you as well!

    Never heard of ramps either but I'm sure I'd like them b/c I love onions, garlic and leeks!

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    1. You Will have to try some, sometime! Thanks for following!

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  24. What an interesting post and funny story~ you are such a gracious guy. I had never heard of ramps, but was guessing 'lily of the valley'!

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  25. Ramps.... Hmmmmm I have always called them wild onions. Now I know the real name. They make a great ham and onion soup.

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  26. Congratulations, Clint! You won the Preparedness Challenge give-away!! Great post on ramps. Edible wild plants are something we should all be familiar with and accustomed to preparing. Please email me at homesteadrevival at sbcglobal dot net with your email address so USA Emergency Supply can get the books to you.

    Have a blessed Easter!

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