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Spring ramps
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Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Spring ramps on 04/11/2012 07:42:59 MDT Print View

Spring came early to Michigan this year, and with it, the spring ephemerals. This has always been one of my favorite times for being out in the woods (my other favorites include summer, fall, and winter).

Sunday was my youngest daughter's birthday, so we decided to go for a hike and picnic along the river, with the purpose of gathering ramps, or what the girls call "green things".

Hikes with the girls always seem to involve walking sticks

rowan stick
"For the honor of Grayskull"

Ramps (wild leeks) were plentiful

Selectively thinning the patch to promote future growth.

Ramps usually go for about $3 per plant in our local markets, not that we'd ever dream of selling them. I figured I was carrying away about $600 worth in my backpack, free for the taking. I do have to chuckle though every time I walk through the market. I have yet to be on any trail in Michigan that didn't have them growing in abundance for those who know where to look.

Stopping for lunch
Stopping for lunch

ramp butter
The harvest

ramp butter
Putting away some ramp butter for use during the year. This makes the ultimate "garlic bread", and is great with seafood or as a topping for veggies, steak, or salmon, anytime an impromptu sauce is needed.

Dinner was leg of lamb (locally raised) with grilled ramps, and birthday cake for Rowan. Days like this make me feel a close connection to the land we live on. Hopefully this is a value that will be instilled in the girls as they grow up.

Edited by Ike on 04/11/2012 08:42:15 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Love it! on 04/11/2012 08:31:14 MDT Print View

Ike, thanks for sharing. I really appreciate seeing how your trip reports connect to other parts of your life.

One of my goals this year is to learn the local flora and understand their cycles more fully. Most people here pay most of their attention to the fauna.

I just appreciate being connected to the land, and it's inspiring to read stories like yours and hoping to attain some of what you've worked for.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Spring ramps on 04/11/2012 09:16:17 MDT Print View

Ramps are one of my favorite vegetables! Mmmmm. Fiddlehead ferns next?

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Spring ramps on 04/11/2012 16:19:46 MDT Print View

Ike -- I have been waiting for your spring food report. Very nice.

I take it your trusty side kick did not make the trip this year?