The ramp collection season usually runs from late April to early June, and while ramp collection for personal use is permitted in Mon Forest within established boundaries, commercial ramp harvesting is prohibited. This includes the resale of ramps collected for personal use. It is permissible to dig ramps for personal use in national forests such as the Monongahela, within the set limits. Commercial harvesting or collection for resale is not permitted. Collecting ramps in national forests for someone else is also not allowed. It`s spring, which means it`s ramp season in Appalachia. While ramps can be harvested from national forests, Monongahela National Forest officials are reminding people to adopt sustainable practices. Government officials are warning residents not to engage in « excessive digging » of ramps in the Monongahela National Forest. If you pick up ramps from a large piece, take only one-fifth of the plants. If you leave most plants behind, they can ripen and go to seedling, and the patch recovers faster.
Collection ramps for personal use are allowed in Monongahela National Forest, according to a press release from Monongahela National Forest. Personal use is defined as two gallons per person in possession at any given time, or roughly the amount that fits in a typical plastic bag. The Forest Service says this equates to about 180 whole plants, including roots and leaves. They also say that people are not allowed to collect ramps on behalf of another person, and that commercial harvesting of ramps in Monongahela National Forest is not allowed. « My parents planted ramps on our property almost 35 years ago, » she says. « And it`s just about to become a very big patch. It took so long to make it really big. So it`s important for people to know the guidelines and how to care for these ramp plates.
« If we keep digging them and don`t make them sustainable, we`re going to run out of ramps, » Kelly Bridges, public affairs officer for the Monongahela National Forest, told The Inter-Mountain on Thursday. « Just this year, one of West Virginia`s national parks decided not to dig ramps at all. » Few people know that there are laws to dig ramps to government property. ELKINS, W.Va. – Digging and eating ramps in the spring is a traditional activity in Appalachia, and the onion-like vegetable is a West Virginia delicacy. « It`s always been that way because of federal legislation, » Bridges said. « We issued a press release about this for the first time in 2020, and until then, I don`t think most people knew anything about the guidelines. We started issuing these press releases because we knew there was excessive digging. So we thought we needed to educate the public.
Elkins, (W.Va.) – Digging and eating ramps in spring is a traditional activity in Appalachia and especially in gateway communities of the Monongahela National Forest. While the collection of ramps for personal use in the forest is permitted within specific limits, commercial harvesting of ramps in the forest, including the resale of ramps collected for personal use, is not permitted. A combine can have two gallons of ramps at the same time, about the amount that fits in a typical plastic bag. This equates to about 180 whole plants, including roots and leaves. Individuals cannot collect ramps on behalf of another person, but if you harvest in groups, each person can have up to the two-gallon limit. The Forest Service has shared guidelines for people who collect ramps to ensure an abundance of the plant in the future: To learn how to grow ramps on your property, visit the USDA website. « Overuse is definitely a problem with ramps because a lot of people don`t know how to do it properly, » Fincham said. « They`re going to take the whole limewell well and next year they`re going to do it again. After five or six years, there will be no ramps. They think they`re going to keep growing back, but you have to leave some of them because that`s how they get seeds. » Collect ramps only from flower beds of more than 100 plants.
The ramp collection season usually lasts from late April to early June, but some are often found and dug in March. For more information on how to build ramps on your own property, see www.srs.fs.usda.gov/compass/2017/04/12/grow-your-own-ramps-2/.