Oh, man.... wild leek season is coming. The time of year when you can forage for fiddleheads, leeks, morel mushrooms, and add them to a riverside lunch of fresh caught brook trout. That's for another post. Anyway, the wild leek season is that time of spring when greens just start sprouting up everywhere and I'm quite excited to hit the woods for wild edibles again after gathering meat all hunting season. This is the time to add wild vegetables to the freezer to have with your game until the next hunting season arrives. It's all out there for us to harvest, and it takes no more than a little of your time. It's really alot of fun also.
The wild leek, or sometimes referred to as, Spring Ramps, can be found coming out of the ground in small patches or sometimes it grows in an area so large it looks like a blanket of green in an otherwise brown section of woods.
The best way to positively identify leeks is with your nose. If it smells like an onion, your good to go. If it doesn't, don't eat it, it's that easy. Leeks really taste like a mixture of onions and garlic, with a very strong flavor. You'll know for sure when you find them. Most of the time, the bottom leaves wrapping the stalk will be purple in color leading underground where the white onion bulb is. We are very conservative when it comes to harvesting leeks. To allow for a renewable resource year after year, we go to separate patches and harvest small amounts from each patch.
They will add so much flavor to any wild game pot. Dried and finely ground for a great seasoning, eaten raw, the spicy greens in a salad, you name it. Pickled leeks are so delicious, I can't keep them in the jar, the kids love them.
Go back in the fall and locate the bulbs for an even bigger bulb that makes the best pickles. You can slice the bottoms and freeze them or dry them to keep for longer periods of time.
The Wild Leek is definitely one of the tastiest wild vegetables out there and will complement any wild meal with great flavor.
Go on out with someone you love, find some leeks, enjoy them, but most of all enjoy what Mother Nature provides. You may be quite surprised!
Until next time, thank you for reading, and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family as much as you can. Your soul will thank you.