Ramp Hunting Means Spring In Appalachia


On this West Virginia Morning, we go hunting for a wild plant that grows in the forests throughout West Virginia. Some people love them, some hate them. How ever you feel, ramps are one of the emblematic signs of springtime in Appalachia.

And we hear from a West Virginia nurse who is treating COVID-19 patients in New York.


For the past five weeks, nurse Amy Ford has been working as a travel nurse at an ICU in New York City while her parents care for her three children back home in West Virginia. In this audio postcard Ford speaks with reporter Kara Lofton about what she has seen and urges West Virginians to use caution to prevent the Mountain State from ending up like New York.

The coronavirus has disrupted just about every annual tradition in our region, including dozens of ramp suppers and ramp feeds across West Virginia. 

But ramps continue to grow in our mountains, and many people have been out picking them this year for their own family’s use.

This morning, we travel back in time to April 2019. Park ranger Caroline Blizzard took a small group of people to a hillside in Garrett County, Maryland, with the sole purpose of finding ramps for a ramp dinner, hosted by the park. 

Photographer and filmmaker Michael Snyder tagged along to record her for “The Mountain Traditions Project.” This story was produced by Leah Scarpelli.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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