Early in the Spring as Winter is waning, the first sign of spring, the first patch of emerald green, ramps make their grand entrance in announcement of the coming bounty. For about a week, proudly making themselves know, ramps are one of the only things that are green. They can be seen for a great distance covering a forest hillside, gentle slopes of a brook bed, tucked within rock formations. Ramps like cool moist forest and woods. From my experience there is alway some form of running water present. The ramps are not in the water nor too near it, but the flowing water offers something to these lilies.
Many times these young sweet wild leeks are too small to very culinary effective. However, the young ramps are sweet with tender leaves, the bulbs are neither large nor spicy enough to warrant good pickles. A good seasoned ramp hunter who is on the search for new patches takes not of the new green other than a taste or a snack for dinner. A mental note is made upon the location and ideally harvest will be in 2-4 weeks. It is best to allow the ramps to grow.
Tomorrow: How to Properly Harvest Ramps.