Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Ramp to the Past

With one brief blog post, a friend took me back in time to my childhood today. She's a foodie, a writer, and television host, and she put up a post about ramps, an amazing leek-like vegetable that grows wild in the woods of western KY and WV and southeastern OH. As a child I often went on walks with my grandfather in the woods around the family farm.

My grandfather was, among other things, a naturalist, a botanist, and a conservationist before there even was such a word.

Some of my best childhood memories are of time spent with him. He taught me to ride at a very early age. I spent countless hours on the trails with him, and each one was a lesson. He knew every tree, every flower, every bird and animal we came across.

On some of our walks, we hunted the elusive morel mushroom. And ramps, oh just the word brings back that smell! The deep dark soil, the earthy oniony smell, the pungent taste. And today my friend gave me a source for ramp seeds and bulbs, and in doing so turned back the wheel of time and I was that child once more, tagging along behind my grandpa, holding the canvas bag as he foraged. And now I can grow them here on our own farm, and I know my grandpa would love that. Thanks Joyce, I owe you one.

Laura and her grandfather, circa the 1960s.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Avian Haiku

Wren sings full-throated

Hawk sits silent in the tree
Jay screams a warning