Everyone’s talking about it and it's about vegetables so I feel I must write a little story about it. My dear friend, Linda, would like me to mention her and show the picture of the ramps she foraged (right). Foraging is the act of searching for wild edibles in the forest or along walking trails in the country and even in city parks.
I thought foraging was limited to hunting for wild and exotic mushrooms in the forest… for free. The new urban foraging is much more than that. My friends are foraging ramps, fiddleheads, dandelion leaves, asparagus and mushrooms. They are taking foraging tours. No, it’s not for me. I like my vegetables expensive. More importantly, I'm worried about picking the poisonous cousin and then getting sick or worse, dying.
Some trendy restaurants have been using these foraged produce and making delicious seasonal dishes.
Something interesting about ramps: they cannot be cultivated. They can only be found in the wild for a very short season of a month in the spring. They are rare, making foraging them even more popular.
Thinking back, I have foraged. Picking wild blueberries is a nice childhood memory. I was very good at it. I would pick a small bucketful, enough for my mom to make blueberry muffins. It took patience to pick each berry quickly and willpower to not eat them on the way home. Wild blueberries are so much more flavourful than cultivated ones. Ever smell a blueberry-scented marker or eraser? That's a wild blueberry scent. It’s worth all the hard work to pick...and for free. I have found wild blueberries in farmer's markets and upscale supermarkets. They are fairly expensive but worth it!