We are beyond excited to find our planting of ramps finally making an appearance. With very little else on the scene, they aren’t shy about calling attention to themselves.
We found two small patches, both planted last April from ramps found sold as produce. It will be several years before they’ve established enough to harvest from. As added insurance, we also scattered seeds, which can take up to two years to germinate. In the meantime, we’ll be on the lookout for more ramps to plant.
Compared to last year, this has been a chilly start to spring. The overwintered greens are kept covered, and many of them are bolting. Taking stock helps us to plan out this year’s rotation schedule and next year’s season extension.
We hadn’t expected this half of the bed to have lasted through winter, and need to clean it out for the new season’s planting of peas. A quick inventory of survivors: a lone head of Pan di Zucchero (beginning to bolt); Fun Jen (above, flowering); arugula; and a few Puntarelle sprouting from roots left in-ground.
In the second covered bed: overwintered Red Russian, Lacinato and Siberian kales; Fordhook chard; and flowering arugula.
This is the time of year when we most appreciate the hardiness of kale, allowing us to continue eating from the garden even at this sparse point in the season.
Of the three varieties of arugula that over-wintered, only one hasn’t bolted. Though it’s meant to be an Italian variety called Olive Leaf, what came up bears no resemblance. Instead, it appears to be a Selvatica and, all the same, is delicious to have.
I planted Arugula for the first time this year. I love it! My daughter likes it sauteed.
I read about your first two vegetable beds. How many vegetable beds do you have now? Just curious. Thanks
We have 8 full and 2 half-sized beds, plus containers for growing potatoes and a separate herb garden — enough to feed two people during the season, with some extra for preserving. The rest we get from the farmers’ markets.
Thank you for posting pics of ramps. I plan to watch them develop. I keep reading about them but they must not grow in the South because I’d never heard of them until I started reading garden blogs. Are the greens? Do they have any other name?
We’ve sourced bulbs and seeds from Ramp Farm (rampfarm.com) in West Virginia; they seem to have a fairly wide range and grow wild here in Maine. They’re also known as wild or wood leeks, and are similar to scallions or spring onions; both the bulb and greens are edible. You may not have come across them before because they’re not usually cultivated but foraged, and appear only during early spring.
I’ve never eaten ramps, but I know that they are a delicacy for many. Overwintered greens are big producers for us too. Kale just keeps on giving!
Like Dave I have never eaten ramp, should Google to learn more.
None of my greens over wintered well this past winter, I gave them no protection and it was just too cold.
I grew olive leaf arugula once and it was wonderful. But when I saved seeds and resowed most of what came up looked like typical wild arugula with the frilly leaves.
What fun to grow your own ramps, it looks like you are off to a good start.
Thanks for tip on the olive leaf arugula!
Lovely harvest. Can’t wait to see those pea shoots soon!
Amazing that you have such things in Maine at this time of year. Congrats!
You really did a good job of overwintering items. The ramps are an interesting project. Are they rhizome spreaders? Or are they self seeding?
They’re self-seeding and are especially finicky — if the conditions aren’t right, it can take two years for them to germinate. Probably the reason ramps are usually cultivated…
Your greens look lovely. My garden is also full of kale and arugula. I can’t live without basil and arugula in my garden!