Monday, 30 April 2012
Last week it occurred to me that I hadn't seen any ramps for sale this year, but that it was probably time for them to be out and about. Of course, it then promptly snowed a foot of snow. However, I contacted a farmer friend who had offered me wild leeks (ramps) from his woods last year. I had been too busy then to take him up on the offer, but this year has been much more manageable. To make a long story short, on Sunday afternoon we headed off to his woods with a shovel and a couple of large plastic tubs, where we found wild leeks in abundance.
I feel a bit bad about digging up wild leeks and taking them away given everything I have read about how long they take to get established, or to recover once picked. However, the edge of his woods had been fairly damaged by heavy equipment, and his assurance that there were lots and lots of them ("and if you take all these, my mother-in-law has 100 acres of them...") proved to be quite true.
We did not take all of them, of course. I tried to stick to the rule of not taking more than one-twentieth of a clump, and to move around and take them from different spots. We dug them up with a good amount of earth because our goal was to plant a bunch of them in our sparse and sorry woods, with the aim of being self-sufficient in wild leeks some time in the next decade or so.
One tub filled and ready to go! One reason we had picked Sunday as the day to go and get them was because it was supposed to rain for the next week, and we hoped that would settle them in well. Of course, between the time we left and the time we came back, the weather report was revised and we are now down to chances of showers instead of the promised 2 days of rain with intermittent showers on the other 3. Phooey. But absolutely standard. We watched that happen week after week last summer. So, we have them planted but will have to trek back to the woods to water them no doubt.
I did save some for cooking, so the rest of the week will be rampapalooza time!