Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ramps

video

Yesterday I set out in our woods in upstate New York for our weekly harvest of ramps. This member of the onion family (Allium tricoccum) grows here abundantly from April through May. It is often referred to as wild leek. Although I only harvest some for our personal culinary use, they are brought to the farmers markets around New York City by many vendors. There it is sold to the market goers, including many first class restaurants where it is served as a seasonal specialty.
As you can see, the ramps are hard to get out. They seem to prefer to grow around the base of trees in the root system or among the rocks which are plenty here. This combined with their strong rope like roots (they are heavy feeders), it sometimes feels they are holding on to dear life.

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