Here in the Pennsylvania and the Northeast, it’s ramps season.
Ramps, also known as wild leeks is a North American species of wild onion. Its taste like a strong onion or garlic.
If you go out foraging for these edible treasures look in moist areas of the forest close to streams and under trees. Look for the bright green leaves with purple to burgundy tinted stems.
I like to harvest one or two from a section of the woods then move on to the next… always leaving plenty in tact to maintain the population.
Wild leeks are slow to reproduce and could take years to recover from poor harvesting practices, so always keep the species’ longevity in mind when bringing some home for the table.
Facts About Ramps
•The leaves from wild leeks contain at least 1.5 times the vitamin C content of an orange.
•Wild leeks contain medicinal compounds known as thiosulfinates, of which allicin is one. Allicin, a thiosulfinate usually attributed to garlic, possesses antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties.
•Research from Biological Conservation (2004) suggests that removal of 95% of wild leeks within a plot could take 148 years to fully recover.
These are a forest treasure that are a treat in the spring. We bring just enough home to prepare with our fresh caught trout. A tradition that is one we look forward to in the spring.