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The "Cat Is Out Of The Bag"! The "Word Is On The Street"! Well..... there are a lot of ways to say it, but you get my drift. I'm referring to the same news that I learned over 42 years ago when, as a young, naive lad, I moved to the mountains of Greenbrier County, West Virginia from the streets of Philadelphia. The local folks were enthralled with us, the "Back To The Land," "Hippie Homesteaders" influx and were very eager to teach us the ways of the wild. They would take us out into the woods to educate us about edible wild plants like "Rock Lettuce" (Saxifraga micranthidfolia), "Creasy Greens" (Barbarea verna), "Poke Salad" (Phytolacca americana), "Shepherds Purse" (Capsella bursa-pastoris), "Purslane" (Portulaca oleracea) and many other edible wild "weeds". However, the most cherished and prized edible "native" of all was Allium tricoccum or what they introduced us to as "Ramps". The word Ramps is a corruption of the old Anglic word "Ramson", in case you're wondering how this seemingly strange common name originated.
Now, decades later, it seems that every five star, gourmet restaurant in the US has a "Ramp" dish on the menu.
"Ramps" aka Allium tricoccum, are really wild leeks. They combine the taste of garlic (Allium sativum) with the taste of onion (Allium cepa), although that's really somewhat of an oversimplification as the taste of "Ramps" is bursting with other so many other flavors and nuances that they leave their actual essence difficult to verbalize. Only your culinary imagination will limit their possibilities in your own kitchen. I use the leaves in salads and stir fries, and chop the bulbs for Miso soup and many other dishes.
But besides being delicious, they're also a highly interesting and desirable landscape plant for the shade garden. They emerge from bare ground in early Spring with very supple medium green foliage and stand about 6" - 12" tall. When these leaves disappear, you get 8" - 12" sturdy flower stems topped with lovely white flowers. These flowers eventually get pollinated and reveal their very attractive shiny black seeds. "Ramps" are very easy to grow from seed, and the bulbs usually double and form new bulbs that you can pull apart and replant.
Here in WV, "Ramps" are celebrated like saints and holidays. There are many "Ramp Suppers" run by various chambers of commerce and volunteer fire departments etc.
These woodland treasures are becoming so popular that even Martha Stewart put up a page of 15 recipes for cooking with "Ramps", and here's another 7 recipes for you. Would you believe that Arianna Huffington has her own "Ramp" recipes. I even found quick and easy directions for making "Ramp Butter"
"Ramps" are super easy to grow and have no insect, pest or disease problems. All you need is some shade. Of course, the richer and moister your shade is, the better they'll grow. Very serious, detailed cultivation information and some less detailed, but very relevant cultivation information can be found at these links.
I guess that after all that exciting information about "Ramps", you're saying to yourself, "WOW, where can I buy some of these amazing plants". Well... you're just a couple clicks away. YES, you can buy "Ramps" right here. I've had "Ramps" for sale for several years now and I've sold quite a few, but wanted to build up a large stock before doing a mailing. And now the time is right to plant them for a good seed set next year.
What I'll be sending you are fully dormant, mature, bareroot, seed grown bulbs. They'll be wrapped gingerly in long fibered, unmilled, moistened sphagnum moss. I'll include a free plant with seedheads forming on it with each order so you can get a head start on raising your own "Mess O Ramps" from seed this year.
The pricing below includes FREE SHIPPING via Insured Priority Mail.
Larger quantities at even lower prices upon request.
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Copyright © Barry Glick 1996-2014. All Rights Reserved.
Barry Glick, Sunshine Farm and Gardens
696 Glicks Rd, Renick, WV 24966, USA
Phone: (304) 497-2208
Last modified July 29, 2014