Celebrate spring with the wild ramp
ROSCOE, NY — April showers bring May flowers, but another sure sign of spring is the harvest of ramps. While becoming increasingly popular, ramps may still be unknown to some. Kind of like an onion and kind of like garlic, the ramp is somewhat mysterious. It’s often referred to as a wild leek or spring onion, and indeed it does grow in the wild. In fact, you may even have some in your backyard.
The Roscoe Beer Company held its first annual Spring Fling Festival last year, but this year they wanted to do something different. So they added a special touch and are rebranding it as the Wild Ramp Festival, to be held on Saturday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include two dozen vendors, live music, food and beer, farmers’ market, and a VIP tent that will feature ramp-inspired small plates created by five local chefs and paired with Roscoe Beer Company’s Trout Town beers. In addition, the brewery will be open for both the bar and tours. The main event is free, but you can get exclusive access to the VIP tent with chef-prepared dishes, beer parings, wine and cider samples, and a VIP bag at a cost of $40.
Roscoe Beer’s Shannon Feeney explained they wanted to find something unique for this year’s spring festival. “Ramps are a beautiful first sign of spring,” she said. Like daffodils, they are an early sign of the season. They are also one of the first vegetables to emerge after winter.
Ramps are harvested from the wild and they grow in our area. However, it is of utmost importance to harvest them sustainably. You should contact a naturalist and they can guide you. Ramps look a bit like scallions, but they have two or three broad, flat green leaves. Their taste is milder than that of an onion and also has a garlicky tinge. They can be used in a variety of ways, such as ramp pesto or as a topping on pizza, and they can be pickled or fried.
The chefs who will be preparing ramp-inspired dishes in the VIP tent are from The North Branch Inn, Rolling River Café, Northern Farmhouse Pasta, The Arnold House and The Neversink General Store. Feeney said it is “a true culinary farm-to-table experience.” Guests will also have the chance to mingle and talk with the chefs.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.RoscoeBeerCompany.com.