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Where to find spring ramps downtown

Has anyone seen ramps yet? Also looking for farmers market suggestions for mid week downtown.

Thanks!

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  1. Haven't seen them yet, but they should be coming soon. You'll find them at Dufferin Grove for sure, that happens on Thursday.

    1 Reply
    1. Watch who you buy your ramps from and avoid anyone who just goes out and forages them in the wild, over-harvesting is concern. It takes a few years for a ramp plant to reach maturity and when you pick them you pull the bulb so that's it. You only want to pick a portion of any patch each year so the remaining plants have the ability to divide and replace the loss. Even if the first person to some along only takes a replaceable amount it only takes a second forager to come along to significantly knock back a population. The reputable suppliers will be picking from patches on private property where they manage the annual take. Same goes for fiddleheads, if you take more than 1/3 of the bracts you can kill the plant. Most of the fiddleheads one sees in stores are farmed in Quebec and are not a wild crop.

      Wild foraged mushrooms on the other hand? go for it, you're not killing the mother fungus when you pick those. I have heard that fresh morels have started to show up in the city this week!!!

      3 Replies
      1. re: bytepusher

        There are fresh morels, and fresh hedgehog mushrooms (i was surprised!) at Fiesta Farms right now.

        1. re: bytepusher

          Thank you bytepusher. Very informative. I was talking to a farmer in Creemore this past weekend actually who told me that ramps and spring leek crops should only be harvested in five year rotations to avoid depletion.

          1. re: bytepusher

            Thanks for this. They're just not sustainable if taken by what amounts to poaching off private land where ramps still survive.

          2. You'd better keep your jets cool for at least another month or more. Around here - just south of Peterborough - the ramps won't be ready until late April/early May. So if you're hoping for a local crop, you're way early. The ground is still frozen in most places, and there's still plenty of ice in other spots.

            1. I think it's early for ramps, but just seeing your post warms my heart.

              Spring has to be right around the corner, especially with the glorious weather this week!

              1. Dufferin Grove for certain, but go early cause they'll sell out. If you subscribe to the market e-news or check the website , you'll find out on Wed if they'll be at the Thurs market.

                http://dufferinpark.ca/market/wiki/wi...

                I'll be making Keith Frogget's morel and wild leek quiche as soon as they're here.

                http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/a...

                2 Replies
                  1. re: gastrosab

                    Sosnicki's has fresh cultivated leeks at the market today...wild ones should be around the corner.

                1. We picked ours at the farm last year in early April. I don't know what to do with them all when I pick them.

                  1. We split a tip about growing ramps over to our Gardening board. It's off topic here, but we didn't want to lose the information. If you want to continue that discussion, please reply here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/697178

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: table4onthefly

                      I was at the Cheese Boutique this afternoon and they had a shipment of the first ramps of the year . . . of course there are fewer now . . .

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                      Cheese Boutique
                      45 Ripley Ave, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

                      1. re: JDeQ

                        At this point they have to be flying them in from BC, if that kind of thing matters to you.

                        1. re: bytepusher

                          Not true, there's a post on the Globe Bistro website right now claiming that they are serving locally foraged ramps, gathered by the chefs brother I believe.

                          1. re: haggisdragon

                            I just checked my personal ramp spot and they're JUST peeking out of the dirt. I suspect a warmer, sheltered spot might have them up enough to pick. But it really is a bit early.

                            1. re: haggisdragon

                              That was actually in their e-mail newsletter not on their web site, neverthless...

                              One notes that they haven't made it onto the menu, there's a bit of a difference between a few bunches from a warm patch enough to run some kitchen experiments on and quantities that make sense for retail sales

                        2. re: table4onthefly

                          I had this at Nota Bene last week too, but with Malfalda pasta. So. Good.

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                          Nota Bene
                          180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

                        3. My last Southern Ontario ramp foraging was in mid May 2008. This was in the Georgetown area. Maybe this year global warming has pushed the season forward. No snow in March at all is pretty spooky.
                          On May 14th, 2008 the ramps were fairly mature and I believe I could have collected a slightly better haul had I been out a week earlier. But this is only the beginning of April. Could be that some of the ramps being sold are from Ontario's deep south where the season is always a couple of weeks ahead of us.

                          See ramp photos here: http://torontovore.blogspot.com/2008/...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: longolame

                            I suspect that there are ramps a'plenty in SW Ontario. They are generally 2 - 3 weeks ahead of us. My chives are up about 6 inches and generally I can barely see them around April 1st. When I spoke to the Cheese Boutique guys they said that everything was early this year. They even had morels.

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                            Cheese Boutique
                            45 Ripley Ave, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

                            1. re: JDeQ

                              Was in Leamington this weekend. They're pretty far off as well. Sorry folks, local leeks are still a myth. Another 2 weeks, perhaps?

                          2. Bought wild leeks at Marvin's Garden at the North Market at St Lawrence this past Saturday - delicious in this recipe (which will probably be deleted by chowhound)

                            http://www.babbonyc.com/recipe-spagh-...

                            1. I have always found them at Withrow Park farmer's market, but they don't open til May 22 this year.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: piggywiggy

                                In the uptown area, I found them yesterday at Fanfare Flowers, the fruit/veg store immediately north of Salumeria. There was a bucket of them out front at $1.99 a bunch (7 or 8 per bunch).

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                                Salumeria
                                2021 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                              2. P.A.T. supermarket on Bloor near Christie. 1.99 loose bunch and 2.99 trimmed and packaged.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: mrbozo

                                  I got some at the St. Lawrence market on Saturday. However, I'm not sure if they were actually ready to be picked, they were quite thin, the bulb was about a third of the size of a normal green onion.

                                  I have never bought ramps before so maybe this is normal?

                                  1. re: paper_bag_princess

                                    Sounds about right. Looks are deceiving in this case: the entire plant is full of flavour flavour. Enjoy!

                                    1. re: mrbozo

                                      Oh, I ate the green part too. I just wasn't sure if the bulb should have been bigger.

                                      1. re: paper_bag_princess

                                        Not downtown but the forest by our house was FULL of this this afternoon.

                                2. They were available at the food terminal this week.

                                  1. Bought a bunch at St. Lawrence Market this past Friday. Most of the produce stalls were selling ramps. This was my first experience with buying and cooking ramps, so I didn't quite know what to expect. I sauteed them in a bit of olive oil with some baby bok choy that I'd separated. So good. I'm definitely going to have to head back down to the market a couple more times before ramp season is done for the year.

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                                    St. Lawrence Market
                                    92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

                                    1. They are in Galleria on yonge and steeles... bought a small amount, never tried before... 5.99 lb