Front Porch Blog

Are ramps under threat?

Chefs, big-city connoisseurs create an increase in demand
[ West Virginia ] Demand for ramps from celebrity chefs, avant-garde restaurateurs and avid foodies has some experts worried for the future of the pungent wild leeks grown in the hills of Appalachia. “[Ramps are] becoming harder to find in many areas because they’ve become so popular and people frequent all the festivals that are held in their honor,’’ said Jeanine Davis , an associate professor of horticulture at North Carolina State University who focuses on specialty crops like ramps. Davis said the increase in popularity over the years means that chic big-city eateries and their adventurous chefs are vying for the bulbs but “very few people are producing these commercially.’’ Although ramps are harvested in the spring, the plants are not mature enough to produce seeds for replanting until autumn. Many foragers who find ramps growing wild in March or April don’t return to sow new seeds in September or October, Davis said.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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