My wife and I often visit our families in the mountains of western North Carolina. We are planning on visiting next weekend and I spoke with my father today and he suggested that we go for a hike while up to look for Morel mushrooms and ramps (a type of wild leak). In the area of the Appalachian Mountains I grew up ramps are a tradition this time of year. As a young boy I remember hiking in the mountains in search of ramps to dig for family get-togethers. Ramps have such a strong flavor and odor that if eaten raw the smell permeates from your skin for days, so bad that teachers would send you home from school if eaten raw the day before….okay so maybe we did this on purpose a few times.
But for myself these hikes are not only for the ramps and mushrooms but also a time for me to gather a few birch saplings to use in rustic furniture making.
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-- Chris Adkins, http://highrockwoodworking.com/