Ramps – also known as wild leeks – are a cousin of onions, leeks, scallions and shallots. When you taste them you’ll realize why people love to forage for them. Ramps thrive in low mountain altitudes where there is rich, moist soil, from Georgia to Canada. But it is possible to grow your own ramp patch at home by building a raised bed with a canopy over it to mimic forest conditions. Just make sure it’s shaded properly and doesn’t get too hot. The best time to plant ramp seeds is late summer to early fall. Transporting bulbs or planting root scraps are alternative and swifter ways of growing a ramp patch. They will grow well alongside other plants that favor the understory of the forest, such as Ginseng, Nettles, and Trout Lillies. Keep an eye out for aphids and spider mites. Also, resist the urge to harvest Ramps until after the first few years because they are still establishing their root system. Leave them alone even when they’re dormant. The longer you let ramps grow, the longer they will be around for years to come.
Listen to Cathy Isom’s report below.