Edible products can be farmed in forests. Ramps (Allium triciccum) and shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) are two prominent examples, but a wide variety of herbs and other edibles are also possible.
Spring is the time to harvest ramps, a popular forest vegetable in the eastern United States. This savory plant is a member of the onion family closely related to leeks. In early spring, ramps send up smooth, broad, lily-of-the-valley like leaves that disappear by summer before the white flowers appear. The whole plant is edible and has a garlic-like aroma and is usually three or more years old when harvested. For more information on ramps, watch a presentation on ramps in Appalachia by Jim Chamberlain, USFS.
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