Ramps Harvesting [split from Manhattan]
(Note: This thread was split from the Manhattan board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8412... -- The Chowhound Team)
How long will it be before ramps are wiped out? There has to be some sort of regulation going on here. Now UnWholly Foods have frozen ramps. Canada has put a hold on ramp harvesting because of dwindling growth. What is really upsetting is when I am served badly prepared, dried out, grill-burnt leathery specimens at trendy restaurants. Had inedible strings of them on a pizza at Tarry Lodge and it was so depressing. I know of many places to find ramps, but I would never tell anyone and if I do take some, it is very few. Need to leave some so there is something to grow for next year.
It depends on what you mean by "wild garlic". If you mean the wild chive-like thready leaves that pop up in lawns everywhere, you're not talking about Ramps.
"Ramps", sometimes known as "wild leeks", have wide/broad leaves, reddish stems, & tiny bulbs at the bottom. They're found in shaded woodland areas, are harvested in Spring prior to blooming, & harvesting DOES need to be limited because once the plant is pulled up, that's it - another won't sprout in it's place. Some plants do need to be left behind in order to sow seeds for a future crop.
For those with woodland spaces, you CAN grow your own Ramp patch. Do a websearch & you'll find several sources for both seeds & planting bulbs.
in some areas they are being wiped out, several states have declared them protected or endangered. They take 7-8 years before they are adult, but rarely are harvested responsibly. harvesting only older plants, and taking only 10% from each patch, plus separating the plants and replanting, is the only responsible way to harvest.