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Thread: Looking for Ramps (Wild Garlic)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Halifax, VT.
    Posts
    779

    Default Looking for Ramps (Wild Garlic)

    I was pulling taps today and found myself in a large patch of Ramps. I thought I'd post a thread about them because this is the time of year to get them. I did'nt get a pic but they're pretty easy ID. They usually cover quite an area and grow in clumps. The forest floor may be green with them. The leaves unfold off a shoot and are long and blade like. They are about 1/2 to 1" wide. The stem going into the ground is white and underground is a small tuber that is almost nonexistent at this stage. They are usually one of the first things to come up through the leaves.Their most identitying charicteristic is the smell and taste.(I'd smell them first). Its a cross between garlic and onion and its very strong. They are pretty sweet as well. The entire plant is edible but the leaves are the easiest to harvest. They are becoming very popular(and pricey) in restaurants and in Canada I believe there is a law banning or regulating their harvest. The only two places I know to find them are in the hardwoods where there is abundant Maple trees so I thought it might make tap pulling a little more interesting for some. We freeze them and my wife makes a pretty awesome Pesto with them. If you should happen to find a patch I would'nt let it get around. If you google it you can get pics and more info.
    Last edited by madmapler; 04-22-2014 at 04:19 PM.
    Sean

    2013-1st year...94 taps, 12x24 sugarhouse, home built evap. Gast 2065 pump with bender
    releaser.
    2014-30x36 sugarhouse, 2.5x10 "Jutras" evaporator, 1200+ taps on vacuum, sap brothers RO. 2 sihi 2 stage pumps, 440 gal.

    2015- 1000gph memtek RO, 3250 Taps, 1200 gallons

    2016- Modified grimm 4'x12' evaporator with auf and aof with air preheater. Home built airtight arch front. 4250 taps?

    2017- 2400gph. Lapierre RO, 10" filter press, 5000 taps

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    1,930

    Default

    Hey Sean, I googled ramps and saw a picture and read the description. I'd never heard of them before.

    Your advice to smell the plant as you pick it is likely a good idea as they look like a dead ringer (no pun intended) to Lily-of-the-Valley which I'm sure makes a memorable, and toxic, pesto.
    ~ Karen ~

    2012 - 10 taps, 1 turkey fryer - 169.5L sap 4.2 L syrup
    2013 - 23 taps, 2 turkey fryers - 748.5 L sap 17.56 L syrup

    2014 - 22 taps, 509 L sap 12.5 L syrup
    2015 - 28 taps, 1093.75 L sap 25.1 L syrup
    2016 - 25 taps, 1223.5 L sap 28.25 L syrup
    2017 - 21 taps, 518.5 L sap 12.7 L syrup
    2018 - 28 taps, 2 turkey fryers & Denali 3 burner propane stove - 798L sap 16.9 L syrup
    2019 - 28 taps, 1409.5L sap 40.12L syrup

    Sugar, Norway, Manitoba, Silver and Freeman Maples



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Halifax, VT.
    Posts
    779

    Default

    You're right Karen. At first glance they look a lot like Lily of the valley even by the way they cover the ground. The leaf is a little thinner though.
    Sean

    2013-1st year...94 taps, 12x24 sugarhouse, home built evap. Gast 2065 pump with bender
    releaser.
    2014-30x36 sugarhouse, 2.5x10 "Jutras" evaporator, 1200+ taps on vacuum, sap brothers RO. 2 sihi 2 stage pumps, 440 gal.

    2015- 1000gph memtek RO, 3250 Taps, 1200 gallons

    2016- Modified grimm 4'x12' evaporator with auf and aof with air preheater. Home built airtight arch front. 4250 taps?

    2017- 2400gph. Lapierre RO, 10" filter press, 5000 taps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Tomahawk WI.
    Posts
    502

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    Sean, Wife and i love them to, she loves the leaves in salads and we both like the bulbs pan fried in butter with salt and pepper. The bulbs get bigger as the spring drags on but when the leaves start to shadow the woods floor the leaves turn yellow and dry up. Would love to sell them at our farmers markets but way to much time invested cleaning them. We call them wild leeks, same thing though. There are books out there that have lots of wild plants you can eat and the books show pics how to identify them. Ever try stinging neddle leaves steamed? taste like spinach with a hint of lemon. good luck foraging!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Boston, N.Y.
    Posts
    171

    Default

    I ate them as a kid--- raw. we used to do a lot of playing in the woods. army, combat, rat patrol, cowboys and Indians etc so we always knew where the good stuff was. My mom used to joke that she could smell me coming from a mile away. I used to love them. probably still would if I could find any. Oh, I know where they grow ... one of my childhood haunts...miles away. We call them leeks as well.
    Bill Donovan Loving life in Boston New York
    2016 block arch in progress eyeing up several trees. trying to figure best configuration for chimney. .
    2014: 20-25 taps block arch. 3- 6 inch deep steam table pans . 17 quarts of syrup from from reds, silvers and sugars.
    2011: 9 trees tapped block arch 2 steam table pans 1 side burner on the propane grill..1.5 gallons of syrup
    1 understanding and supportive wife
    1 daughter that loves all things maple

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    NE PA
    Posts
    1,580

    Default

    Sean, pesto sounds great. Any chance of a recipe?

    I came across this all ramp menu a few weeks ago for anyone interested in ramp overkill

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/03/s...mps-ramps.html
    “A sap-run is the sweet good-bye of winter. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and frost.”
    ~John Burroughs, "Signs and Seasons", 1886

    backyard mapler since 2006 using anything to get the job done from wood stove to camp stove to even crockpots.
    2012- moved up to a 2 pan block arch
    2013- plan to add another hotel pan and shoot for 5-6 gallons
    Thinking small is best for me so probably won't get any bigger.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Halifax, VT.
    Posts
    779

    Default

    Wild leeks is the other name I was trying to think of. Instead I came up with garlic. Heard about the nettles but never tried them. They're around here but are kinda rare. Next for me will be fiddleheads then morels. I'll be glad to post the recipe in a few days when my wife gets home from visiting family....... Rat Patrol! I thought we were the only ones who played that!
    Last edited by madmapler; 04-22-2014 at 08:26 PM.
    Sean

    2013-1st year...94 taps, 12x24 sugarhouse, home built evap. Gast 2065 pump with bender
    releaser.
    2014-30x36 sugarhouse, 2.5x10 "Jutras" evaporator, 1200+ taps on vacuum, sap brothers RO. 2 sihi 2 stage pumps, 440 gal.

    2015- 1000gph memtek RO, 3250 Taps, 1200 gallons

    2016- Modified grimm 4'x12' evaporator with auf and aof with air preheater. Home built airtight arch front. 4250 taps?

    2017- 2400gph. Lapierre RO, 10" filter press, 5000 taps

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Posts
    1,604

    Default

    I have patches all around the sugar house. They are another indicator of when to pull the taps!
    John
    2x8 Smokylake drop flue with AOF/ AUF
    180 taps on sacks
    75 on 3/16 tubing with shurflo
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Savoy, MA
    Posts
    322

    Default

    I knew them as wild leeks when I was a kid. My buddies in the military from the South all called them ramps. I enjoy picking them in the spring. The pesto idea is a great one. I freeze some every year and use them in homemade salsa, venison chili, and on pizza. Fry some up in a little butter and with some fresh fiddle head ferns….oh man, so good it will make your tongue slap your brains out!
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

    "Roses are red and violets are purple
    Sugar is sweet and so is maple surple
    "

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
    Posts
    742

    Default

    I always take a little trowel to dig them, and have transplanted them with great success. Anywhere you plant even just one will multiply in a very short time. They bloom with tiny white flowers that kind of resemble a miniature Queen Anns Lace. If you remember where you found them, you can return in the fall to find little four inch stems with a cluster of black seeds on the top which are easy to plant also...just sprinkle them in the sugarbush and stand back.

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