Ramps: Grow and Cook This Edible, Wild ‘Weed’

| 9/21/2015 10:21:00 AM

Tags: ramps, alliums, shade gardening, foraging, wild edibles, landscaping, West Virginia, Barry Glick,


"The cat is out of the bag!” "The the word is on the street!"

Well, there are a lot of ways to say it, but you get my drift. I'm referring to the same news that I learned over 43 years ago when, as a young, naive lad, I moved to the mountains of Greenbrier County, West Virginia, from the streets of Philadelphia.

Discovering Wild, Edible ‘Weeds’

The local folks were enthralled with us — the back-to-the-land hippie homesteaders — influx and were very eager to teach us the ways of the wild. They would take us out into the woods to educate us about edible wild plants, such as Rock Lettuce (Saxifraga micranthidfolia), Creasy Greens (Barbarea verna), Poke Salad (Phytolacca americana), Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and many other edible wild "weeds."

However, the most cherished and prized edible "native" of all was Allium tricoccum, or what they introduced us to as "ramps.” The word ramps is a corruption of the old Anglic word "Ramson,” in case you're wondering how this seemingly strange common name originated.

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