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Where to find spring ramps downtown

gastrosab Mar 15, 2010 01:06 PM

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


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  1. aser RE: gastrosab Mar 15, 2010 01:16 PM

    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. re: aser
      gastrosab RE: aser Mar 15, 2010 01:21 PM

      Thank you aser!

    2. b
      bytepusher RE: gastrosab Mar 15, 2010 03:54 PM

      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
        mgs RE: bytepusher Mar 16, 2010 01:35 PM

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

        1. re: bytepusher
          gastrosab RE: bytepusher Mar 25, 2010 07:39 AM

          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
            Kagemusha RE: bytepusher Mar 25, 2010 12:13 PM

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

          2. n
            Nyleve RE: gastrosab Mar 16, 2010 07:31 AM

            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. t
              toboggan3 RE: gastrosab Mar 16, 2010 01:40 PM

              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. j
                jnine RE: gastrosab Mar 17, 2010 11:22 AM

                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.


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


                2 Replies
                1. re: jnine
                  gastrosab RE: jnine Mar 25, 2010 07:39 AM

                  thanks jnine!

                  1. re: gastrosab
                    jnine RE: gastrosab Mar 25, 2010 08:16 AM

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

                2. m
                  marajade RE: gastrosab Mar 25, 2010 06:59 AM

                  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. The Chowhound Team RE: gastrosab Mar 25, 2010 12:19 PM

                    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
                      JDeQ RE: table4onthefly Mar 31, 2010 08:03 PM

                      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 . . .

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

                      1. re: JDeQ
                        bytepusher RE: JDeQ Apr 1, 2010 07:24 AM

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

                        1. re: bytepusher
                          haggisdragon RE: bytepusher Apr 1, 2010 07:29 AM

                          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
                            Nyleve RE: haggisdragon Apr 1, 2010 07:42 AM

                            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
                              bytepusher RE: haggisdragon Apr 1, 2010 08:59 AM

                              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
                          jlunar RE: table4onthefly Apr 1, 2010 10:14 AM

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

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

                        3. l
                          longolame RE: gastrosab Apr 1, 2010 03:52 PM

                          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
                            JDeQ RE: longolame Apr 1, 2010 06:58 PM

                            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.

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

                            1. re: JDeQ
                              DockPotato RE: JDeQ Apr 5, 2010 09:54 AM

                              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. e
                            ElizabethS RE: gastrosab Apr 5, 2010 09:21 AM

                            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)


                            1. piggywiggy RE: gastrosab Apr 16, 2010 06:16 PM

                              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
                                Yongeman RE: piggywiggy Apr 18, 2010 09:33 AM

                                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).

                                2021 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                              2. mrbozo RE: gastrosab Apr 18, 2010 09:42 AM

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

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: mrbozo
                                  paper_bag_princess RE: mrbozo Apr 18, 2010 12:17 PM

                                  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
                                    mrbozo RE: paper_bag_princess Apr 18, 2010 02:07 PM

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

                                    1. re: mrbozo
                                      paper_bag_princess RE: mrbozo Apr 18, 2010 03:45 PM

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

                                      1. re: paper_bag_princess
                                        JDeQ RE: paper_bag_princess Apr 18, 2010 06:30 PM

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

                                2. aser RE: gastrosab Apr 18, 2010 07:39 PM

                                  They were available at the food terminal this week.

                                  1. t
                                    TOFoodFan RE: gastrosab Apr 19, 2010 09:21 AM

                                    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.

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

                                    1. p
                                      Pigurd RE: gastrosab Apr 22, 2010 07:01 PM

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

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