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View Full Version : Mountain food at it's finest


FishNHunt
03-05-2011, 11:01 PM
I don’t know how many of you fellow outdoorsmen and women dine on wild eatables but, I happen to LOVE wild ramps and it’s just about that time of year again. If you don’t know what a ramp is, it’s a leak and similar to an onion. They have a garlic – onion taste to them. The younger the ramp the sweeter the flavor and the old the ramp the stronger the onion taste. I will eat them until they are so strong I instantly develop heart burn with the first bite.**** A note of caution for those interested in eating a ramp, if you are on your first day, honeymoon, or are hoping to seek any affection from your significant other I would highly advise you not to. That is unless you can get the other to divulge in the fine eating them selves. That way they won’t smell your potent aroma as badly. **** Ramps are best fresh from the ground. Simply take them to the nearest creek to wash off the dirt, remove the roots and enjoy. I even save the leafy part for salads, “kilt ramps” (substituted lettuce), and bulbs sliced on a sandwich (substituting the onion) and the leaflets (substituting the lettuce). If you are feeling really adventuress you can pickle them for great eating months down the road. I do this for fall “man” camps where the cabin reeks of pickled ramps, beer, and other foul smelling fragrances.
Ramps are getting rather hard to come by as of late so a prime patch is kept as closely a guarded secret as the location of that 30 inch brown. I have a few patches that I regularly pick but, noticed an intruder had worked them over pretty unscrupulously last year. I presume that I will have to strike out and search other areas in order to keep from over harvesting my dwindling patch. Ramps are best found at high altitudes but, can be found and even grown at lower elevations. There are records of a patch of ramps 5 acres in size on Jake’s Creek just above Elkmont. I’ve yet to find remnants of it but, I’ve been told by some “mountain men” that it’s still there. This brings me to my question. Would it be illegal if someone were camping in the park and came across a patch of ramps and decided that they would taste wonderful with his fresh golden brown rainbow trout? Could that person pick a few as long as they were eaten within the confines of the Park? I’ve eaten black and blue berries from the park regularly and, never gave it a second thought. I assume that it most likely would be considering that one can’t pick a flower or destroy vegetation, even thou I see flower pickers every year
The question doesn’t concern me as much as others because my picking is done far from the park and golden brown crispy trout. If you don’t have the time to search out and find a ramp, and they can be a challenge to find, there is a “ramp festival” every year in Cosby (my computer isn’t allowing me to access it right now for the dates) that could entertain your taste buds. If you want something to “spice” up that cast iron skillet fried, corn meal dredged, crispy gold, rainbow trout give a hand full of ramps a try. I love them.

BlueRaiderFan
03-05-2011, 11:31 PM
From what I understand a person can pick certain plants for consumption but I would call the park or look on their website to be certain.

bugg
03-06-2011, 08:44 PM
I don't think ramps are allowed to be harvested within the Park. I know mushrooms are allowed though. There is a list of species it is legal to harvest somewhere, I'll try to find it.

One place I turkey hunt we'll dig a mess of ramps and pick some morel mushrooms and hopefully have a fresh bird to feast on as well. Nothing better in my book. But yes, you are right, ramps with a couple of trout are tough to beat. Good with eggs and potatoes as well. Actually, pretty much anything you put onions in can be good with ramps. Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about all the good food that comes with spring time. Won't be long....!!!

bugg
03-06-2011, 08:54 PM
I can't seem to find it on the website but I'm sure it wouldn't take but a phone call or two to figure it out.

2weightfavorite
03-07-2011, 07:31 AM
if mushrooms arre harvestable I found the morel mushroom bonanza last year! I always thought that nothing plant, or in this case fungi wise could be removed from the park. Believe me however,. I will be asking, and if they are harvestable I will be goig back to my honey hole! There was easily 2 walmart bags of morels in this one spread out patch. I watched over a few weeks as they went from good looking and mouth watering, to brown, to dark brown, to brittle and dead.

buzzmcmanus
03-07-2011, 10:38 AM
I can't seem to find it on the website but I'm sure it wouldn't take but a phone call or two to figure it out.

I'd found it once also, but can't find it anymore. I remember it saying that that mushrooms are harvestable, but had to be 100 or so feet from any trail, structure or stream. I wish I could find it again to be sure.

whitefeather
03-07-2011, 02:07 PM
http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=86&pictureid=560

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=86&pictureid=559

bugg
03-07-2011, 07:05 PM
if mushrooms arre harvestable I found the morel mushroom bonanza last year! I always thought that nothing plant, or in this case fungi wise could be removed from the park. Believe me however,. I will be asking, and if they are harvestable I will be goig back to my honey hole! There was easily 2 walmart bags of morels in this one spread out patch. I watched over a few weeks as they went from good looking and mouth watering, to brown, to dark brown, to brittle and dead.


Just curious..were they in the woods or around an overgrown farm/apple orchard from years past??

2weightfavorite
03-08-2011, 07:32 AM
They were in the woods, not too far from a popular easy access hiking trail. They were actually between the trail and ceek, the perfect spot. Fishermen walk up the river, never seeing them, and the hikers walk the trail and pass them by as well. I happened to stumble on them by bushwacking from the trail to the river. There aren't any old apple trees or orchards that I know of around this spot.

silvercreek
03-08-2011, 09:52 AM
Dang it took forever, but I finally found the regs on gathering various foods. It is under Preservation of Natural resources page 9-10 of the pdf, page 5 of the document.
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parkmgmt/upload/09-Compendium.pdf

2weightfavorite
03-08-2011, 10:55 AM
Wow! According to that document mushrooms are fair game, but it is illegal to harvest ramps! Who'd a thunk it! And dont use a stool or ladder! very odd...

bugg
03-09-2011, 07:23 PM
Good work silvercreek!!

And 2weight, thats cool. I have found some in the woods before but the "motherloads" I have found have been in and around reclaimed apple orchards. Love those morels!