HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >

With warm weather are fiddleheads/wild leeks early?

ElizabethS Apr 2, 2012 02:19 PM

Has anyone seen them in stores?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. n
    Nyleve RE: ElizabethS Apr 2, 2012 05:34 PM

    Not up in the woods yet. I'm near Peterborough.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nyleve
      gttahaveit RE: Nyleve Apr 2, 2012 07:51 PM

      The leeks have poked through at my family place in Haliburton, but are still about 10 - 14 days from harvest

      1. re: Nyleve
        Finnegan RE: Nyleve Apr 16, 2012 08:53 AM

        Picked an entire shopping bag full on April 16 near Haliburton

      2. c
        Cat123 RE: ElizabethS Apr 2, 2012 08:24 PM

        Fiddleheads were in the basement of SLM a couple of weeks ago.

        1. Wahooty RE: ElizabethS Apr 2, 2012 09:12 PM

          For what it's worth, a friend near Cleveland, OH reported ramp patches about a week ago, but in her pictures they looked like they were still a little low. So the season seems to be coming a little early, but not drastically so. In my area, I'm hoping I might be able to find a few for my Easter dinner.

          1. f
            fabia RE: ElizabethS Apr 3, 2012 04:31 AM

            I was at a cooking class last night and the chef made wild leek and mushroom soup. The leeks are out here, but they were still smallish, but big enough enough to make a great soup!!!
            I'm in Hamilton.

            2 Replies
            1. re: fabia
              porker RE: fabia Apr 3, 2012 04:43 AM

              Just curious, did he use the whole plant, leaf & all, or just the white bulb?
              FWIT near Montreal, nothing has poked up yet.
              I don't know if its temperature based or amount of daily light which triggers the sprout...

              1. re: porker
                Nyleve RE: porker Apr 3, 2012 04:48 AM

                Temperature. Specifically, ground temperature. As soon as we get some warmth (again) and a nice soaking rain, both fiddleheads and leeks will be up.

            2. l
              LexiFirefly RE: ElizabethS Apr 3, 2012 04:39 AM

              Gabardine had them on their fish special lastnight. So it looks like they're up. Usually it takes longer for them to get into stores though.

              1. f
                fabia RE: ElizabethS Apr 3, 2012 05:21 AM

                He used the whole plant in the soup. Last year I made pesto with the leaves of the plants I picked. The chef is going to pickle some for our next class in a few weeks.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fabia
                  porker RE: fabia Apr 3, 2012 07:24 AM

                  I usually pickle the bulbs. I like the leaves in a a quick, wilting saute, but a soup sounds great. Will likely try this with wild maushrooms.

                2. Kagemusha RE: ElizabethS Apr 3, 2012 08:52 AM

                  Too early. Ramps aren't sustainable and most are stolen( the impolite term for "foraged").

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Kagemusha
                    jayt90 RE: Kagemusha Apr 3, 2012 08:57 AM

                    If we forage too many they will be restricted, as in Quebec, with much higher prices for farmed ramps.

                    1. re: Kagemusha
                      Nyleve RE: Kagemusha Apr 3, 2012 09:06 AM

                      You're quite right about that. I worry about how popular ramps have become and the fact that they are now showing up in restaurants isn't a good thing. When I pick them, I have permission from the landowner and I am very selective. But when professional pickers come in, they dig up everything and pretty much leave a vacant forest floor. Ramps are more vulnerable than wild mushrooms or fiddleheads because you're basically pulling up the whole thing - roots and all. So there's nothing left come come back next year. Very sad business.

                      1. re: Nyleve
                        Herne RE: Nyleve Apr 3, 2012 09:46 AM

                        Do any of the seed companies sell wild leak seeds or young plants?

                        1. re: Herne
                          Nyleve RE: Herne Apr 3, 2012 10:09 AM

                          There are some online - just google ramp seeds and you'll find them. I took a couple dozen ramps that a friend gave me and planted them. They're spreading a bit but I think I'll be an old lady before the patch is anywhere near harvestable.

                          1. re: Nyleve
                            jayt90 RE: Nyleve Apr 8, 2012 05:58 PM

                            I talked to an Alpine grower about propagating ramps and he suggested collecting the seeds in July, rather than waiting for root division, then planting in a shady moist area similar to ginseng plots.

                        2. re: Nyleve
                          atomeyes RE: Nyleve Apr 9, 2012 05:14 AM

                          i saw that Pizzeria Libretto had them on one of their pizzas.
                          ramps have jumped the shark.

                      2. n
                        Nyleve RE: ElizabethS Apr 4, 2012 07:39 AM

                        I retract my earlier report that wild leeks are not up yet. I just checked my patch this morning and they are definitely up. I'd want to wait another week before picking, though, because the leaves are still small but I suspect that SW Ontario may be ahead of us. Maybe you'll start to find them in markets about now.

                        1. f
                          fabia RE: ElizabethS Apr 4, 2012 10:11 AM

                          Heading north this weekend, but I'm sure they will be too small to pick. I won't get back until May 24 so will keep my fingers crossed that I'll be able to get some then.
                          I never dig out the whole patch. The woods I go to are scattered with them, so I spread my digging around. I have also transplanted over the last few years into the woods closer to the cottage and someday will be able to harvest from that patch.

                          1. c
                            crawfish RE: ElizabethS Apr 9, 2012 06:36 AM

                            I checked on the weekend north of Kingston and the fiddleheads were not up.

                            1. n
                              Nyleve RE: ElizabethS Apr 9, 2012 07:48 AM

                              Report: ramps are definitely up. I picked a few this morning - and I'm sure to be struck dead by lightning for this - I made matzoh brei with bacon and ramps for breakfast, which was ridiculously good. Fiddleheads are not up yet, nor morels. We need rain for the morels and a bit more warmth for the fiddles.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Nyleve
                                acd123 RE: Nyleve Apr 9, 2012 11:22 AM

                                So funny. I love it. Matzah brei with bacon and ramps. Sounds amazing. It's like my house. after the motzi a few Fridays ago, we tucked into some great low and slow pork ribs. I wouldn't worry about the lightening. It's IMPOSSIBLE that whoever/whatever is responsible for lightening doesn't like ribs and bacon.

                                1. re: acd123
                                  Nyleve RE: acd123 Apr 9, 2012 05:53 PM

                                  My son said that he doesn't think that bacon is "specifically" mentioned in the Passover food rules. I was going with that.

                              2. jayt90 RE: ElizabethS Apr 10, 2012 06:36 AM

                                I have been able to pick 12" ramps from a moist area in my backyard, west of London. Curiously they are in full sun but doing well. I'm going to collect seed in mid summer and sow a new shady area in the fall.

                                1. e
                                  ElizabethS RE: ElizabethS Apr 14, 2012 01:20 PM

                                  Wild leeks at SLM this morning - Marvin reports Fiddleheads maybe next week

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: ElizabethS
                                    Finnegan RE: ElizabethS Apr 16, 2012 08:54 AM

                                    How much do they cost

                                    1. re: Finnegan
                                      ElizabethS RE: Finnegan Apr 16, 2012 12:25 PM

                                      $2.50 a bunch - and it was a generous bunch. I also found Burrata at Alex's Farm Products so make fresh pappardelle with wild leek pesto and Burrata - it was delicious! (used two bunches for the pesto)

                                  2. o
                                    OTFOODIE RE: ElizabethS May 20, 2012 09:55 AM

                                    I was wondering if the Ontario CH'ers can help me identify an Allium family member.

                                    I was chatting with my neighbour, and there are plants that look like a tall grass growing in his garden. He said it was a wild plant in the onion/garlic family. Until last might, I didn't know what a ramp looked like, s at first I assumed they were ramps. I think I was wrong. My neighbour tells be that the bulb doesn't thinken. We tasted the leaf, which is long (12-15"), thin, with a v-shaped cross-section, and it was somewhat leak-like, but with a spiciness in the aftertaste.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: OTFOODIE
                                      ParkerQ RE: OTFOODIE May 20, 2012 02:31 PM

                                      it would help if you posted a picture...

                                    Show Hidden Posts