Education Specialty Crops Spring Plant Sale Ginseng Farmers Market Products Ramps Bloodroot


Smoky Mountain Native Plants Association is pleased to offer you a taste of our traditional mountain food and culture. Our value added products were selected by the Smithsonian Institute as featured items depicting Southern Appalachian life at the 2003 FolkLIFE Festival in Washington, D.C. We hope you enjoy our “Stone Ground Cornmeal”, “Stone Ground Cornmeal with Ramps”, “Ramp Salt”, “Ramp Flakes” and “Ramp Seasoning”!

What is so special about Corn, Ramps and the Smoky Mountains?

Historically, every garden grew corn because it was the daily staple grain native to the mountains. Wheat flour, grown on the prairies, was an expensive import. As a result, the goodness of corn filled Smoky Mountain family's tables.

Ramps (Allium tricoccum) are tasty wild mountain leeks that grow at high elevations in the Appalachian Mountains. Earliest of spring greens, this savory wild leek has a slender white bulb, a white or reddish stem, and two to three lance shaped, bright green leaves. This mountain delicacy takes seven years to mature from seed planting until it flowers and produces seed. Ramps show above ground for just a few brief weeks in early spring, then die back until the following year. As the signal of spring, its emergence is cause for celebration and festivals throughout the mountains. Ramps can be eaten fresh, cooked or dried. Traditionally, ramps are dried and used to add zest to many dishes, like our cornmeal.

To insure an ongoing harvest for future generations, SMNPA members are researching the best propagation, cultivation and harvest practices on private land. Our members plant, hand harvest, wash, inspect, and process each individual leaf. Then we carefully package the product in our local USDA Certified Kitchen, Stecoah Valley Food Ventures, located in the historic Stecoah Valley Center, an Appalachian Cultural Arts facility. Proceeds from the product sales supports research, propagation, education, and protection of this tasty mountain treat, and other native plants.

 To order products please call 828-479-8788 or email us at .