Ramping Up the Forest Farming Industry Around Wild Leek: Phytochemistry, Trade and An Exotic Pest

Friday, April 6, 2018, 1:30-2:30 pm EDT

Register Here!

Ramps or Wild leek (Allium tricoccum) is a perennial wild onion native to the deciduous forests of Eastern North America. Ramps are known throughout Appalachia for their unique onion and garlic flavor and have expanded in popularity in recent years as a seasonal wild food. While a rising number of producers wish to manage ramps as an agroforestry crop, the knowledge of its nutritional and medicinal composition is limited. Our research, funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant, will quantify phytochemicals of importance to human health as they vary in relation to plant stage and seasonality. In addition, our research team is gathering information on the ramp trade in the region to better understand market opportunities, concerns and constraints for guiding forest farmers. And finally, we are investigating the possible harm posed by a new exotic pest to Allium species, the Allium leaf miner (ALM). It has been demonstrated that ALM uses a variety of cultivated, ornamental and wild Alliums as food and overwintering hosts, and the rapid spread of ALM in Pennsylvania is now recognized as a potential threat to ramps. For this webinar, we will provide an overview of each of these efforts and share opportunities for broader public and researcher involvement and cooperation.

Research Team Presenters:

Eric Burkhart, Ecosystem Science and Management/Shavers Creek Environmental Center, Penn State

Teal Jordan, Ecosystem Science and Management, Penn State University

Shelby Fleischer, Entomology, Penn State University

Christyna McCormick, Maryland University of Integrative Health

Additional Resources:

Article – Researchers to study ramps’ market, flavor profile, vulnerability to pest

Article – The First North American Record of the Allium Leafminer