Ransoms - Wild GarlicHave you ever walked into woodland and caught the powerful, pungent smell of wild garlic? There is nothing quite like the smell of Ramsons on a cold, spring morning to bring all your senses alive. You often smell them before you see them and then it’s an exciting search to find your delicious treasure.

Wild Garlic – Allium ursinum

Ramsons is one of my favourite plants to forage and I feel very fortunate to have discovered a large patch of them in woodland not five minutes walk from my house. I collect the young flower buds and tender leaves, both are delicious in scrambled eggs and omelettes. They can be added to many a dish, including salads, quickest, soups, and are a wonderful addition to cream cheese.

I collect enough Ramsons to freeze until our camps later in the year and then hand them to Lief (our in-camp chef) who adds them to her “gourmet delights”. If any of you have been on our camps, I’m sure you will remember Lief’s delicious camp food.

Ramsons are common across Britain, usually within broad-leaved woodland but are often seen covering banks beside roads.  Liking slightly acidic damp soil, Ramsons have long, bright green leaves and white flowers.

Ramsons are always a reminder of the Survival Quest I did in Scotland at the end of my training. Growing abundantly very close to our newly made shelter we foraged them each day, often eating them as we walked or used them with other wild ingredients in our wild stews and soups. A delicious hint of garlic, more delicate in flavour than the cloves themselves.

So this spring, why not get outdoors and forage for a few Ramsons to chuck in the pot. You’ll be glad you did.

CAUTION: Lily of the Valley can be confused with Ramsons. The leaf is very similar but if crushed it does not smell of garlic.

[Natural Pathways strongly suggest that any foraging be carried out under the supervision of trained practitioners and is the sole responsibility of the individual forager.]

Photo Credit: Aston