When the kids were little we had a favorite park not far out in the country that we loved to visit. We usually had it to ourselves, and it was full of wild ramps and ephemeral wildflowers each spring.
After a long winter in town, this place was my bliss.
Having our own 40-some acres to explore, we no longer visit as often as we once did. But the underbrush is thick in our woods, and the ramps are not, so each spring this park calls me back again.
With the fleeting ramp season in mind, Lupine and I met up here with some of our dearest friends.
To make time to forage and have a long-overdue visit with our friends? We managed to feed body and soul in one swoop.
None of us were in a hurry and had plenty of time to savor wandering the spring woods and talking while we picked, our kids doing the same on some far off trail.
Though most people dig the ramps, crisp and flavorful bulb and all, we harvest just one leaf from each plant and leave the bulb and second leaf to grow and set seed in the forest.
I’m not sure who taught me this, but it’s how we have done for years, and what feels right in my heart.
Slowly, slowly we worked our way through the woods and along the trail: picking leaves, soaking in the dappled sun, and talking about the things that friends do when they finally have the space in which to connect.
Back home we’ll be making nettle and ramp pesto, infused oil, fermented herbs, and so much more. And, of course, we’ll stock the freezer with bags of sliced ramps for winter soups, pizzas, and omelets.
Spring and friendship and foraging and the forest: these are among life’s finest gifts.
What is calling you out into the woods this season? Do you have a favorite spring plant that you forage?