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foraging ramps/fiddleheads

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

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  1. the produce section at your local WF?

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

      1. 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

          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

            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

              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

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

          2. re: The Chowhound Team

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

            1. re: newhavener07

              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

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

            1. 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

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

                1. re: Passadumkeg

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

                  1. re: morla

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

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

                  1. 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. 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?