Friday, April 3rd was RampFest, held at Garfield Park Conservatory to benefit The Land Connection. It was a great evening with wonderful food that was enjoyed by a large and enthusiastic crowd dedicated to sustainable farming and local produce. Ginny and I even had the opportunity to spend a few moments with guest emcee, Bill Kurtis. Mr. Kurtis, the well known and well loved Chicago-based journalist and Tallgrass Beef Rancher, is truly an inspiration.
Environmental and health issues have long been of interest to Mr. Kurtis and have strongly influenced how he relates to the prairie and raises cattle on the open range with only grass as feed.
We are still very much into the ramps, our wild onion. We will continue serving our focaccia ripiena (stuffed foaccia) with anchovies and ramps (acciughe e rampe) until there are no more to be found, so stop by soon! The season for ramps is actually quite short, maybe four weeks in all. I am already looking forward to next year. Being out on the Spence Farm last week digging for the ramps with other chefs and friends on the land was quite enjoyable. The farm dates its settlement to 1830. We all braved an early morning snow storm to make our way to the farm, but it was well worth it. Following the dig, a pot luck feast was waiting for us in the farm house.