Where to buy Ramps in Westchester (other than farmer's markets)?

Other than Whole Foods, are there any stores in Westchester County that sell ramps? Last year, Fairway had them but I checked the Nanuet store today and did not see them (I was at the Pelham store last weekend but forgot to look). The farmer’s markets presumably have, although the organic guy at the new Yorktown Farmer’s Market last weekend didn’t. I got some on Saturday at Whole Foods in Danbury ($12/lb).

This is the sort of thing that bothers me about Turco’s in Yorktown. They make themselves out to be a gourmet place, but they do not carry anything unusual in the way of produce (although their prices are high). Further north, I know that Adam’s has had them in past years.

Mister Bill - where is the Yorktown market?

Whole Foods, for certain. You might also try Fresh Market, Balducci’s, or Citarella, Greenwich…

They’re at the Jefferson Valley Mall, in the back (across the lot from the main downstairs entrance).

They only had one farm with produce and one with fruit when I was there last week, and the produce was organic and very expensive, at least for me (a friend we ran into was buying a bunch of stuff, so obviously some people were OK with the prices). I’m hoping they get more farm vendors in future weeks.

Hopefully you’re going to see a lot less ramps, and much higher prices. Many foragers are having discussions about this, and actually being more ecologically responsible about harvesting the wild ramp populations. The past few years I have been speaking to every ramp forager I know, about conservation. Ramps are not cultivated to any great amount, like almost zero. Ramps grow wild, take seven years to grow from seed, and 3-4 from bulbs, and irresponsible harvesting has made them endangered in most areas. Some states have made it illegal to harvest ramps. I usually harvest and sell several hundred pounds of ramps a year. Last year I only harvested and sold around 30 lbs. and this year I harvested much less than that, which I replanted in depleted areas. Last year I did this, and within 24 hours some local restaurateurs and hobby foragers dug up the ones I had transplanted, and took all in an area. Literally all. Just for the trendy foodiness of having them on a menu. Didn’t use any myself this year, and sold none.

Just about any ramps you see for sale are being harvested to destruction. You shouldn’t buy any. If you want them so bad, go forage them yourself, and harvest sustainably. At the rate things are going it is possible that ramps will be gone in the next decade or two at most.

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This is an interesting topic. I did some volunteering at Teatown in Ossining recently and the educator who was leading our group said very similar things to what you just mentioned, JMF. She said they have been having issues with people over-harvesting the wild ramps on their property. I can’t remember exactly what she said but it was along the lines of people come and completely decimate the area where the ramps are, leaving none behind, and then they are done in that area and won’t return.

I know Cowberry Crossing has had them in the past at the P’ville farmers’ market and I trust them implicitly to do so in a sustainable way. As with most of their products you will definitely pay a premium.

I also saw that Neversink Organics at the Pville market had them last time I was there (two weeks ago) and there was a huge mob at that stand.

Agreed, ramps are not sustainable if you harvest the bulbs. You can, however harvest the leaves, as long as you leave at least one leaf on each bulb to store energy for the next season. Apparently cutting the whole plant halfway down the bulb but leaving the base intact also allows them to regrow.

I haven’t found them growing wild near me, but I did order and plant a bunch of dormant ramps from a farm in Ohio last fall. This spring, I had lovely ramps! They will take a long while to firmly establish and reproduce, but I was able to harvest enough leaves for some pesto. I also just discovered that the woods behind my childhood home in Michigan (which my parents sold last week after living there for 40 years) is FULL of ramps. I was there helping my father pack up and I couldn’t believe how many there were - hundreds of big, beautiful clusters, as far as the eye could see. I harvested a bunch of leaves and brought them back - luckily the TSA didn’t bat an eyelash. I couldn’t believe my father had never bothered to harvest them! I hope the new owners of the home don’t decimate the area.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
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