Spring Herb: Ramps, powerful blood-cleanser

On my fb wall:
Will Bason
Went back into the woods and harvested a few ramps. It would normally be about the start of the season for them, but instead is near the end. Very early year, though we had a couple of good frosts the last couple of nights. Ramps do not mind it. They are kin to garlic, leeks and onions, the allium family and that is certainly quite noticeable in the taste and smell. We have some good size patches here and have successfully moved them around to make more.
Here is the wikipedia article
“Allium tricoccum – known as the ramp,[1] spring onion, ramson, wild leek,[1] wood leek,[1] and wild garlic – is an early spring vegetable, a perennial wild onion with a strong garlic-like odor and a pronounced onion flavor.[2] Ramps are found across North America, from the U.S. state of South Carolina to Canada. They are popular in the cuisines of the rural upland South and in the Canadian province of Quebec. Ramps also have a growing popularity in upscale restaurants throughout North America.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_tricoccum

Here is a site that gives information on them and on the dozens of ramp festivals held throughout the Appalachians in the spring;
http://www.richwooders.com/ramp/ramps.htm

Here is a site with good pictures and harvesting, growing and cooking information;
http://leslieland.com/2010/04/ramps-finding-picking-cooking-and-planting/

Here is cultivation information from NC State University;
“Choose a well-drained site with rich, moist soil high in organic matter. Soil moisture appears to be an important environmental variable influencing seed germination, seedling emergence rate, survival, and growth rate of the plant. Thus, adequate moisture must be maintained throughout all seasons, not just the active growing season. Keep in mind that the growth period for ramps is limited to only a few weeks in the spring, during which time the plant is dependent on having adequate light, moisture, and nutrients for survival.”
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-133.html

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