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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ramps: Spring is Here!

Yesterday it  snowed (?!), but yesterday was also the day of the year's first Dane Country Farmers' Market on the Square. Both of us are lucky enough to have gotten part-time jobs with our CSA, Harmony Valley Farm for the farming season. Andy was scheduled for yesterday. I got to stay home in my warm, cozy farmhouse with my growing chicks and crazy cats. Anyway, one of the perks of working at the Farmer's Market for Harmony Valley is that at the end of the shift, workers get to pick out $15 of fresh produce. Seeing that our gardens are weeks/months away from producing, our pantries/freezers are frighteningly bare, and our CSA boxes don't start arriving until May 7th (counting down!), this bonus is stupendous!

Andy walked in our front door after his shift with a bag of red onions, two large burdock roots, and three bunches of our springtime favorite: ramps! If you haven't had ramps, but enjoy scallions, onions, and/or garlic ~ you must try them! The taste embodies spring ~ subtle, slightly sweet, and a bit spicy. The bulbs and leaves are edible, and both are equally wonderful.

Ramps are also known as wild leeks. They grow in moist, sandy soil - often near a water source and/or on hillsides. Once you know what the leaves look like, it's amazing where you see them growing. The first year I had ramps, I saw a prolific amount at Parfrey's Glen (now closed!) in Wisconsin. Of course, I couldn't pick them from a state park, but I have to admit, I was very tempted.

This morning, we used them in an egg scramble. Our first bunch of ramps is almost traditionally  used this way. We're looking forward to using some of our fellow CSA-ers' suggestions this year as well. Soon, on the menu, we'll see ramp fettuccine and ramp risotto (maybe even tonight!). Working at the Farmers' Market is exciting! A few more weeks of ramps on the menu. We never feel we get enough - the optimal season for ramps seems too short.

In our egg scramble this morning, we added:
cream cheese

Spinderella's gorgeous eggs - look at the color of the yolks! These are not pale yolks, folks!

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