April is the time of year in the Hudson Valley where two-legged foragers emerge from their winter habitats to head out into the woods to find the delicate green leaves that hold their secrets below the earth.

What the heck am I talking about? Wild ramp season. The Latin name (because horticulturists love it when you know the 'real name') is Allium tricoccum. If you are a fan or have ever grown onions, you might recognize the Allium part of the word to show that these tasty nuggets are a part of the garlic and onion family.

Are you a person that has hunted for them before? Are you willing to give up a location (yes, I know that these are sometimes TOP SECRET locations) of where someone might  find some of these morsels?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

If you are going to try to find these beauties, here are a few rules (or possibly it should be called code of conduct) as to how to go about doing it the right way.

  • Don't take all of the ramps, leave some of them for someone else. Limit yourself to no more than 1/3 of the plant.
  • Think about re-planting some of your crop. This can be done with clusters of the ramps or by waiting until the plant goes to seed. You will be doing your part to make sure that there will be more available in future years.
  • When you go out to harvest them, you might want to bring something to carry your harvest in, along with a small shovel. Keep in mind that you might want to wear old boots or shoes, because let's be real, ramps are not just hanging out in a clean dry spot. You are going to get some mud on you.

So. What do you do with your harvest bounty? Do you pickle them, use some now, freeze some? Make a pesto? Share your ideas!

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