Rampant Ramsons

Sam and I took a short walk today down to Bottoms Wood. We’ve been tracking the progress of the Ramsons there since the first green spikes thrust through the leaf litter early in the year.

Now the wood is filled with great drifts of white flowers and a sweet garlic scent.

John Hee’s post about spring and the restorative powers of nature says it all.

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Rampant Ramsons

8 thoughts on “Rampant Ramsons

  1. That’s wild garlic, isn’t it? I love it at this time of year. I believe it can be cooked (lightly sauteed in butter) but I never want to disturb it, even in its wild profusion…

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    It is, although the cultivated variety now sometimes grows wild which can be confusing. I have cooked the leaves – I sometimes make a ‘mixed onion’ soup with wild garlic leaves, chives, leeks and onions. The leaves are also great in a salad. Our kids enjoyed them as the salad in beefburger sandwiches. Now that the plants are flowering the leaves are past their best – better to try them when they have just appeared.

  3. walkinghometo50 says:

    Good plan – do they start to smell around then or do you need a naturalist’s eye to spot them?

  4. beatingthebounds says:

    Because they are one of the earliest leaves to appear and are quite a distinctive shape they should be easy to spot. Around here at least, the main thing that you might confuse them with are the leaves of Cuckoo Pint – but they have dark spots and are a different shape. Make a mental note now of where they grow – they will come back next year in the same spots. They don’t smell strongly like they do now, but if you pick a leaf and rub it you should smell garlic.
    Richard Mabey’s ‘Food for Free’ is a very informative book if you intend to start foraging.

  5. beatingthebounds says:

    By one of those wonderful coincidences which seem to abound in blogging Mike Pitt left a comment on another post and when I visited his site I found the first image was of a delicious looking Wild Garlic Soup. Scrolling down I came across this recipe, which I hope Mike doesn’t mind me reproducing here:

    4 medium potaotoes,peeled and chopped
    1 onion chopped
    2 leeks, sliced and washed
    3 sticks of celery washed and chopped
    4 bay leaves
    3 litres of veggie/chicken stock
    2 big man handfuls of wild garlic leaves, washed
    Take all your veggies except the garlic and throw in to a large hot saucepan
    fry without colouring the veg, then add the stock and bay leaves.
    simmer the soup for about 1 hour
    thrown in the chopped wild garlic and cook for a further 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper
    blend the soup and voila. serve with crusty bread and a poached egg dropped into the soup just before you serve

    You can find Mike’s blog here:
    http://mikepitt23.spaces.live.com/default.aspx
    (Sorry can’t work out how to paste a link into a comment)
    It looks to be about walking and cooking – what a great combination.

  6. iam happy to see some one is interested in my blog and recipes.i forage abit here and there for wild foods and have agreat love for all things nature.i love reading your posts,very enjoyable
    mike

  7. beatingthebounds says:

    Hi Mike
    I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe, although I suppose that it will be next year now.
    I shall add you to my Blogroll so that I know where to find you when I need more inspiration.

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