Wildcrafting in our yard – Wild Leeks

Wild Leeks
Wild Leeks – the longer leaved plants in this picture.

I found out from my mom last year that we had a patch of wild leeks (also called ramps) growing in the woods behind our house.  We have a ton of daffodil patches in our yard and the woods surrounding it, and last year I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for.  I figured it out this year though because the leaves are quite different.  Our neighbor confirmed it for us because he pointed them out to my husband.  So I went and picked some, and looked them up online to make sure that they were, in fact, wild leeks.  It’s always a good idea to definitively confirm things before eating something that may not be what you think it is.

I picked some tonight to cook with dinner, and they are really good.  I had read that they taste kind of like a mix between onion and garlic.  I fried them up with some pork steaks we had, and they had a nice mild oniony-garlicky flavor to them.

In the picture above you can see, mixed in among the leeks, some little mottled/spotted leaves.  I’m not sure what they are.  If you read this blog and you know what these may be, please leave me a comment.  I don’t remember seeing them last year.  There are a ton of them and they don’t seem to be something that just has a disease, it appears to be the natural coloring of the plant.  Here is another picture of just the mottled leaves:

mystery spotted leaf plants
Mystery spotted leaf plants.

Like I said above, we have tons of daffodils, all different kinds, all over in our yard and woods. My mom planted different varieties over the years.  When my parents would divide them, they would throw the old plants in the woods, and the daffodils have just taken off.  It has a nice effect, especially this time of year when there’s a tiny bit of green and a whole lot of brown – there are splashes of yellow and white and cream (and mixtures of those) all over the place.  Here’s a nice yellow one:

A daffodil in our yard.
A daffodil in our yard.