How to Dig Ramps. Harvest Not Just Think That They Are Super Cool.

Care must be used when Harvesting Ramps. One must dig ramps on ramp level, never use a full size shovel. Not only is it ridicules to see a person hiking in the woods with a giant shovel, we are not trying to destroy a ramp patch. We merely want to thin out the ramps so they have room to grow. I prefer a small digging tool that can fit into a backpack. Ramp Digging Tool and Backpack
Ramps like to grow in clumps or groups. Be selective about what you want to harvest. Do not try to take everything. Find a clump that has some large ramps and some small ramps. Groups of RampsYou will want to harvest the large ones. Place your tool near the ramps so that you can get under the roots and loosen them from the dirt without breaking the bulbs nor destroying the roots of the ramps that you wish to leave. loosening the ramps from the ground

How are Ramps Found? When and Where?

ImageEarly 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. Image

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.

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Tomorrow: How to Properly Harvest Ramps.