Can you grow your own ramps?

With a sweet pungency that combines the flavors of garlic, scallions, and leeks, ramps (Allium tricoccum) have become something of a rare delicacy as rising demand depletes the natural supply. Unfortunately, harvesting the bulbs—which grow wild in forests from Minnesota to Maine and as far south as Georgia—effectively kills the plants. Even worse, this particular plant can take seven years to reach maturity. It’s why Great Smoky Mountains National Park banned ramp-foraging in 2004, and why horticultural scientists at North Carolina State University have been researching how farmers might help ensure a robust ramp population.