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foraging ramps/fiddleheads

trev80 Apr 2, 2008 10:17 AM

Looking for tips on where to forage some ramps and fiddleheads this spring. I can never find any!

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  1. ScubaSteve RE: trev80 Apr 2, 2008 10:29 AM

    the produce section at your local WF?

    1. n
      newhavener07 RE: trev80 Apr 2, 2008 11:00 AM

      Found some in the Bronx with Wild man Steve Brill....send him an email?

      1. The Chowhound Team RE: trev80 Apr 2, 2008 11:00 AM

        In general, we discourage "foraging" discussions. Foraged food can be dangerous to the uninformed and we'd hate to be the cause of someone getting information that might lead to poisoning. In addition, such discussions don't generally go anywhere. Chowhounds are a generous bunch on most points, but we've yet to meet the foraging hound who is willing to give up his/her secret spots for the best foraged food on a message board read by over a million people (and with good reason!)

        However, since ramps and fiddleheads can be found in local markets, we'll leave this discussion going so that hounds can report spottings of those or other seasonal produce at local markets.

        7 Replies
        1. re: The Chowhound Team
          sodagirl RE: The Chowhound Team Apr 2, 2008 09:14 PM

          Russ Pryzbec who runs Russels Global Cuisine in West Hartford..near the Home dept is a nut about fifddleheads and ramps...and he has a big takout section which will include thise items as they become avialable.

          1. re: sodagirl
            Alica RE: sodagirl Apr 3, 2008 04:44 AM

            Last year around this time we were in Bar Harbour, ME and we saw wild fiddleheads in quite a few spots. They were beautiful and fun to see. Closer to home, in season they are always in Stop & Shop.

            1. re: Alica
              Passadumkeg RE: Alica Apr 3, 2008 05:25 AM

              You are right. They grow like crazy in spruce swamps. They are sold by the roadside here Spring morel mushrooms too. But everything is still covered w/ a couple feet of snow. In Maine, April is still a winter month. Then comes mud season, my least favorite. They just closed the carriage paths in the park due to mud!

              1. re: Passadumkeg
                Alica RE: Passadumkeg Apr 3, 2008 06:10 AM

                You know, I was wrong, we were there closer to June!

          2. re: The Chowhound Team
            newhavener07 RE: The Chowhound Team Apr 3, 2008 06:38 AM

            True, but I was referring her to a professional forager who does group trips in the CT area.

            1. re: newhavener07
              trev80 RE: newhavener07 Apr 4, 2008 07:15 AM

              I'm not really looking for anyone's secret spots. Maybe just some tips on the time of the year, and good location bets. Or maybe we should just all go out together and forage around.

              1. re: trev80
                Passadumkeg RE: trev80 Apr 4, 2008 09:14 AM

                Gotta find swampy ground. Here we get tons, just keep chechin' and file away the same spot for next spring. I go for daily walks, with the pooch, behind the house and note their progress. Train your dog to sniff them out; just like truffles.

          3. t
            treb RE: trev80 Apr 4, 2008 09:22 AM

            My local mega-mart, has them, when they're in season.

            1. j
              joss2 RE: trev80 Apr 4, 2008 09:49 AM

              I have a "secret" fiddlehead patch - soggy area below a springhouse. I miss them most years because there's such a short window of time -especially if the weather warms up.

              Can ramps be found in Southern Maine?

              3 Replies
              1. re: joss2
                Passadumkeg RE: joss2 Apr 7, 2008 05:24 AM

                We have ramps in Ellsworth area, near the coast. Morel mushrooms too.

                1. re: Passadumkeg
                  morla RE: Passadumkeg Apr 7, 2008 06:26 AM

                  I wouldn't ask you "where" exactly in Ellsworth, but could you give me a time frame, please?? :)

                  1. re: morla
                    Passadumkeg RE: morla Apr 28, 2009 08:56 PM

                    Fiddleheads are just beginning to poke through the ground. Another week or so. Go poke around behind the Col. Black Mansion.

              2. valereee RE: trev80 Apr 7, 2008 05:01 AM

                Or consider planting them. You can get ramp seeds from prairiemoon.com and Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia Strutheopteris) from many sources. If you have an area in your yard that is marshy in spring, you probably can get them to grow. Just remember not to overharvest -- wait until they're established, which can take a couple of years, and then take no more than half the ramps and no more than half the fiddleheads from a single fern each year. Don't harvest twice from the same fern in a given year.

                1. jspear RE: trev80 Apr 7, 2008 07:17 AM

                  Hannaford, a local chain, had them in season in the produce section.....

                  1. j
                    JoeinBeverly RE: trev80 Apr 28, 2009 08:00 PM

                    Lots of fiddleheads, just not Ostrich Fern fiddleheads. I've been looking for years in Ma and have not found a "hot spot". Any true forager would never, even under torture, share a foraging spot.

                    Your best bet (as I am doing yet again this week) is to scout potential areas and hope for the best.

                    1. BigFatDynamo RE: trev80 Apr 29, 2009 03:56 AM

                      So, I don't want to hijack this thread or anything, but I'm interested in finding different ways of cooking fiddleheads. What are your favorite ways, Chounders?

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