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With warm weather are fiddleheads/wild leeks early?

Has anyone seen them in stores?

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nyleve

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

      1. re: Nyleve

        Picked an entire shopping bag full on April 16 near Haliburton

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

        1. 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. 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

              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

                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. 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. 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

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

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Kagemusha

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

                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      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

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

                        1. re: Herne

                          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

                            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

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

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

                            1. 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

                                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

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

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

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: Finnegan

                                      $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)

                                  1. 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

                                      it would help if you posted a picture...