Springtime in Pennsylvania is a wonderful time of the year to get out and enjoy what nature has to offer. The birds are making their springtime debut and the wildflowers are beginning to bloom. Our weather during this time is a tug of war between seasons.
Winter is trying its best to keep us in its clutches and Spring is inevitably forcing Old Man Winter out. This year we had six inches of snow in April, along with temperatures in the 70s, and when May came around, we had freeze warnings.
The arrival of April and May bring fantastic foraging opportunities. A few years ago my husband and I started our search for wild leeks. Wild leeks (also known as ramps) are essentially wild onions that have a distinctive garlic flavor. They have an extremely strong smell!
Where the heck do I find leeks?
They can be found on hillsides, creek bottoms, and in hardwood forests where the soil is rich and moist. I have read that it can take 18 months for a leek to germinate from seed and as long as 7 years to grow to a harvestable size, therefore they should be sustainably harvested. Always remember to have an experienced person with you if you decide to forage for food. Many of the plants may have poisonous look-a-likes.
You don’t need to get fancy with these tasty treats. We like to eat them raw, thrown in with eggs, burgers, potatoes…..whatever! This year I decided to try some pesto.Print