Appalachian Food Celebrating Appalachia Videos

Come Dig Ramps With Us!


Last weekend The Deer Hunter and I went on a ramp digging trip with a friend. We enjoyed fellowship, good food, and the pure out joy of being in the great outdoors.

I hope you enjoyed the ramp digging video. The wildflowers were the prettiest I’ve ever seen! There was a carpet of white trilliums in many places and in other places a blanket of nodding yellow trout lilies.

To read more about the tradition of ramps in Appalachia visit the links below.

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  • Reply
    Jane ODell
    April 27, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    What a great trip! I’d never heard of ramps. I’m glad to know about them. I guess we just didn’t live far enough up the mountain for them to grow. When Travis did the first one, I thought, “that’ll take a while to get a mess of them ready”, but he was pretty quick doing it, so it didn’t take too long. I loved the wildflowers you saw on the way. God sure did bless the mountains of this country. Travis is my kind of cook…take your time, it’s worth the wait! It sure did look good. I love those orange peppers, too! Yum. and right there by the creek. You’d never need to go anywhere else. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Karen Barnett
    April 27, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Wonderful video! That meal looked amazing, and I agree–there’s something special about harvesting something in the woods and then preparing/eating it right there.

  • Reply
    Susanna Holstein
    April 25, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    Love ramps. Our patch, planted with starts from our son’s patch, is finally big enough that we can harvest some. Ramps don’t grow in our county, I’m not sure why–at least they don’t grow in our part of the county. So now we have our own patch, and we are so happy to have them. Larry picked some the other day, taking care to leave the roots, and he found some morels close by. With some trout given to us by a friend, we had quite a wild feast.

  • Reply
    Guerry Mcconnell
    April 23, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    I enjoyed your ramp video.
    I saw very little underbrush in your forest. Is it because it’s still too early, or is it the altitude, clear cutting, or has there been a fire? The trees are mostly thin.

    • Reply
      April 24, 2021 at 9:40 am

      Guerry-thanks for the comment! The woods are on forest service land. The trees there are older growth so there hasn’t been any clear cutting in recent history nor a fire. Someone who knows more than me could probably give you more detail about why the undergrowth is at a minimum.

  • Reply
    Jonathan Blakeslee
    April 23, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    My brothers and sister and I would go to the woods in the spring and dig leaks. They looked like the ramps You are gathering. Also have a onion /garlic taste. Looks like You all were having fun.

  • Reply
    April 23, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Dug ramps last Wed, wife has not been happy since. She taught elementary school for years. In a rural community (Butler, TN) and I remember every year at this time stories about sending kids home because they had eaten rams causing them to smell up the room.
    On another note I seen some famous chef on TV back in the winter talking about them in his recipes. Bet customers were surprised the next day.

  • Reply
    Tamela ("Tami")
    April 23, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Lovely Outing. Fascinating Adventure!
    What were the dark crimson flowers (lilies) just blooming near the yellow “shameful” (heads bowed” lilies which I think you said were Trout Lilies?
    Wonder if you could send a few ramps or a few root cuttings to see if we could grow them. Don’t know if they’d tolerate summers here or maybe they’d go dormant, but in between the fingerlings of limestone and caliche there are shady draws with good drainage and rich soil which might do the job.
    I’m curious – such care was taken to wash the bulb ends but I didn’t see the leaves getting washed; and yet, the whole plant was put into the aluminum packet.
    What kind of wood was used to make the Swedish grill? Must be a hardwood?
    What a glorious day!

    • Reply
      April 25, 2021 at 6:08 pm

      The dark crimson flower was also a Trillium, and the five petal, white flower shown just before the white Trillium is a Wood Anemone.

  • Reply
    Margaret Carter
    April 23, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    l sure wish l lived in your area it’s always so interesting hearing your stories about Appalachia the world would be so much better if we all could live there in so much harmony and peace thank you Tipper

  • Reply
    Helen Jones
    April 23, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Tipper, you brought back memories of Ogden Elementary. One of my classmates family obviously ate ramps. He came to class stinking so badly no one wanted to get near him. Phew!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    April 23, 2021 at 9:51 am

    I would love to be able to taste some ramps. I’m an onion lover so I would probably like them.

  • Reply
    Rick Shepherd
    April 23, 2021 at 9:48 am

    So real, so true!…..Made me hungry for both the delicious looking food and the great outdoors……Thank you, Tipper, Matt and Travis for sharing this informative and beautiful video!

  • Reply
    aw griff
    April 23, 2021 at 9:43 am

    Enjoyed your video of digging ramps and your smokie mountains. The smokie mountains are one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Where I live in N.E.KY. the hills only rise to about 1300 ft. and although beautiful to me they don’t match the majestic smokies.
    I transplanted ramps over in the holler behind our house and only harvest a few leaves every year and giving them a chance to spread. For some serious ramp digging I have to go to our farm about 45 miles away. While turkey hunting one year I ate several ramps and my hunting buddy was afraid to eat them. They give him the green apple quick steps. On the way home he could barely stand to ride with me and that was with the windows rolled down.

    • Reply
      April 23, 2021 at 3:05 pm

      I’ve heard that condition called the green apple git-a-longs!

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    April 23, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for those ramp stories. Sure do bring back some pleasant if smelly memories. In the spring time we’d often gather up a bunch of kids in a pick-up truck on a Sunday and head for the mountains where we’d eat our fill of the garlicky delights. Afterwards, we’d head back home and then church again. Our Moms would say, “You’ns better wash up and change them clothes unless you want to put the whole church in tears.” We’d do it just for fun. And the Preacher never said anything, perhaps because his younger daughter had been right there with us….Ain’t it the truth that the Preacher’s kids are always the ring leaders?!!

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    April 23, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Eating ramps…..well that was the original need for SOCIAL DISTANCING !

  • Reply
    April 23, 2021 at 9:07 am

    I love your grill! Wish I could have been there not only to enjoy the outing and meal but also to learn more about ramps. It’s hard to believe my family never hunted or ate ramps when I was growing up. I never heard of them until I became a Blind Pig reader. Your video was helpful in identifying the plant as I plan my hunt to see if they are growing where I live.

    • Reply
      aw griff
      April 23, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Shirl, I may be mixed up on your location but the USDA map shows ramps growing in Jefferson, Oldham, and Trimble counties. I believe they would be widely scattered. Two counties I know of, Boyd and Elliot, the map doesn’t even show as having any ramps, but they do.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 23, 2021 at 9:01 am

    I think you all made a good lasting memory.

    Those wildflowers really were beutiful. You remind me again why I so miss being able to just go walk in the woods. I think I saw a Dutchman’s britches blooming along with the trout lily and trilliums. I think the ‘pleated’ leaf Travis mentioned is an orchid called (if memory serves) “putty root”. The leaf will be gone when it actually blooms.

    I heard a fella from the Cherokee tribe say that you could dig down beside a ramp plant until the white showed and cut them off, leaving the bulb and they would regrow year after year. He called those “white tips”. And of course you could cut any portion off higher than that; just leaves, some red or a single leaf and it would come back.

    I had seen those “Swedish logs” you all cooked on but had no idea what they were called. That they worked so well shows why a hollow tree will burn down in a wildfire. It keeps drawing air from the bottom. That Swedish log is basically a chimney fire without a chimney because it is its own chimney. I expect old timers made bee gums in a similar way; set a hollow block on rocks over a fire and let it burn out the inside.

    • Reply
      aw griff
      April 23, 2021 at 12:35 pm

      Ron, I have harvested ramps that way and they do come back the next year. I have also just planted the roots and they grow a new top.

  • Reply
    Cheryl W.
    April 23, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to make and share these videos! Hopefully it’s not too late to look for ramps in Ellijay. Spring has definitely sprung here. The dogwoods are just about done and everything is 100 beautiful shades of new green. I have never seen a “grill” like the one you used from a log. Please tell us how it is done.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 23, 2021 at 7:24 am

    That was a lovely video! Spring in the mountains is a stunning thing to see and then the beautiful blanket of ramps added to it. You all had a very productive day with your ramp digging!

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