Ramp Is In the Air

Ramping Up for the Season
A flattering murmur of foragers and foodies alike comes from the changing seasons and the earth waking up from its wintery nap. And what, pray tell, can get such a buzz? It's ramp season! Imagine yourself walking in the forest alert, with all your senses tuned, for you are going to be given one of the most beautiful gifts nature ever gave to man.

Ramps—they are really wild leekonsites, one of the heralded delights that chefs, food lovers, and those fortunate enough to have an acquired taste for adventure and wilderness pine for. It features long stems and broad leaves of bright green with a taste one can only describe as harmonious with strong notes of garlic and onion, thereby adding flavor to the dish.

However, ramps are so much more than a taste sensation. They have a long and rich history that stretches deep down to the base of Native American tradition, where they had been revered for far more reasons than just their great tastes and medicinal properties.

Its strong feeding and powerful health had been appraised; it then served, during the spring, as a tonic giving power for rejuvenating the body against colds and could even act as an emetic.

That love for ramps, though, means responsibility over their delicate ecosystem. Overharvesting is the greatest danger to ramp populations, considering this plant reaches maturity and reproduces some years after. Therefore, if the favorite wild edible is to be sustained, harvesting of the plant should be done responsibly.

Another such practice is mindful foraging, wherein every mature plant of ramps is cut and taken only by utmost care, for the growth of ramp in large abundance and produce seeds for future generations. This means that their joy of picking and all the reminiscences that it brings forth surely will last as a tradition year on while respecting the balance of nature. Whether he is a foodie at heart by exploration or one who marvels at the generosity of nature, I appeal to one and all to venture in the woods and feel the thrill of coming across one's very own patch of wild ramps. Enjoy not just the flavors, but also a tradition that expresses the glory to beauty and natural environment.