Market Look-For’s

  • Leaves that look like lily of the valley that are free of bruising or mushy leaves.
  • Natural yellowing of the leaves will occur later in the season.
  • The bulbs will have a pink tinge as they transition to the leaves.
  • The bulbs become more bulbous later in the season.


  • Cut the leaves from the bulb and store separately in a paper bag in a plastic bag.
  • The bulbs will store for weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Be ware of storing loose ramps near any dairy products because the dairy will pick up the onion-y flavor.


  • Ramp season is from first thaw until the trees in the woods leaf in. Look for them in lower-lying areas with good drainage.
  • When digging ramps, place your spade near the root base and step down.
  • Only remove half of the cluster of ramps. The full life cycle of ramps is about seven years and removing the entire cluster will lead to decreased regrowth and overharvesting.
  • Ramps are the plant that give Chicago its name. Native American’s called ramps shikago and a lot of ramps grow in the Chicago region.