Ramp season is here! We love foraging, and we love local food. But, according to our good friends at United Plant Savers, “because ramps are a slow growing perennial, they are at risk of losing entire populations due to over harvest.” They estimate that it could take 150 years for a population to recover if over-harvested. With the season of foraging budding all around us, it’s important to make sure your harvest isn’t harmful to the environment and these tasty spring greens! Before you go collect your ramps for your next pesto sauce, here are some tips and tricks to make sure you’re harvesting sustainably!
- Only harvest leaves
The most sustainable way to harvest ramps is to cut only one leaf, leaving the bulb and the second leaf to grow. This method is best for the soil, the plant, and the colony as a whole.
- Check the laws before harvesting
Regulations vary state by state, so make sure you check with local, state, and federal agencies before harvesting!
- Only take what you need
Ramp colonies have become subjected to increased harvesting over recent years. To ensure colonies can stay repopulating for years to come, please only harvest what you will actually use.
Interested in learning more about ramps before you harvest? Learn more on our Sustainable Forestry page, and download our Forest Farmers Handbook for more information about sustainable harvesting!