Gene Thorn, a biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, says ramps are only found in specific areas of the Mountain State. "Ramps in West Virginia generally are up above 3,000 feet, although they do occur lower than that in hardwood forests where it has rich, sandy soil above the banks of little streams."
These tasty shoots pop up as early as January, but most folks harvest them in April.
But you can make things a little easier by planting a ramp patch of your own, all it takes is a little will power, because you'll have to plant some of this year's harvest.
"People have done this all over West Virginia, ramps are extremely popular, people have their own little ramp patches in their backyard or even under a shade tree in their front yard. One way is to dig some, eat half and plant the other half in an area you want them to grow." says Thorn.
And when you find a patch in the wild, or if you plant some in your yard, Gene says the way to keep them coming back is to dig only about half of what you see....kind of in a checker board pattern. They're pretty easy to dig, too.
"Go on the other side of the plant, make sure you get down below the root and get the whole plant out of there." says Thorn.
Then the fun starts when you chop them up in some fried potatoes or any other favorite recipe. Enjoy!
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