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Wild leeks

February 18th, 2008, 05:50 PM
Weird request, but it's the only place on the web where I know so many Canadians frequent.

I'm looking for the Wild Leek plants. I know where I can get some seeds, but holy crap does it ever take forever to grow enough to be harvested. It's kinda the same type of waiting period as for say... asparagus - 3 to 4 years from seed. It could take up to two years to sprout if sown outdoors, but that's easily remedied with the refrigerator trick. (90 days cold, 90 days warm, and so on until it sprouts)

So I'm hoping someone, somewhere out there in Canada can assist me in getting a clump. I have the perfect spot for them out in the woods behind the house (our property that we make sure doesn't get trampled or frequented by others), where there's good shade and moisture under some trees near a small brook and where the ground is always moist. Which is perfect for the wild leek.

The problem is, it's illegal in Quebec to sell this plant because of it's protective status. But it's not illegal to trade or receive as a gift, or to even have possession of it. In some places they still allow people to dig up the wild leek, but are limited to 50 per person.

It grows wild in parts of Quebec and Ontario, as well as lots of places in the USA. But live plants can't be shipped across the border without a phytocertificate.

The wild leeks will be ready to harvest usually at the end of April and beginning of May in Canada.

If you've never eaten this plant, you're missing out! It's sooooo good. *drool*

There's a private farm about 2 hours N of Toronto that has a huge area full of wild leeks. They have a gourmet party there every year but it's pretty pricey, but people get to go out with shovels and harvest leeks off his property.

Anyway, here are a couple more links on the wild leek.

April 7th, 2008, 08:48 PM
Are you looking for freshly dug leeks with roots attached so you can grow your own? Do you have a maple bush? They are very soil specific plants! Wild leeks grow very close to me and we dig them every spring to eat, freeze and pickle. I assume you live in Quebec? I'm not sure how I could send you some.

April 8th, 2008, 06:04 AM
Yes we live in a woodland area, complete with boggy areas and more dry areas. Surrounded by maple, cherry, poplar, and evergreens, among many other berry trees and bushes.

YES! I want live plants, just a shovel full. How big is your colony? I want to grow a colony on our property. Right now I have some seeds in cold stratification in the refrigerator.

About shipping... hmmm.. good question! I'll do some checking on it. We have time anyway, there's still lots of snow on the ground and I obviously cannot plant yet.

I have some live plants being sent to me this spring from other places as well. With most plants it's not a problem wrapped in wet newspaper. Last time I was in Nova Scotia, I got cuttings and shovel fulls of plants from a friend and we wrapped them in the wet newspaper and placed in a grocery plastic bag and drove home. I didn't unwrap them until the next day and planted. All survived. One was a bare root hoya house plant and the others were perennial ground covers for outside.

But I'll have to check about the leeks to make sure. I read that American Indians would harvest the leek, cut off the root tip and replant to keep the colony going.

Wow I'm excited. I haven't tasted the wild leek in over a decade. Good stuff!

April 9th, 2008, 06:45 PM
I've access to lots of maple bush where they grow. I've traveled through a lot of Ontario and have seen leeks growing only in maple bush. Unfortunately the black flies are also at their worst! My partner said last year it was his last year digging! I'm hoping to find a teenager to do the digging. Our teenage neighbors are all grown up now and not interested.

Do you live close to the Ontario border? If you do, it might be easier for you to dig them at a maple syrup bush, with the owner's consent of course.

It's been a number of years since I've been in the Ottawa area, but there were many places on crown land and old logging roads where they were plentiful. Maybe by now these areas are suburbs!

I think my friends said that you need only the bulb of the late season leek for transplanting. Something like bulbs that revive themselves through the leaves. Does that make sense? Friends are "snowbirds" who are motoring in the south U.S. so I can't contact them to find out if my memory is correct.

April 10th, 2008, 01:23 PM
they will be out here closer to mothers day, when you see the trilliums in bloom, look for a bush that has tons of trilliums and you'll find wild garlic/leeks. but to grow them in your yard, good luck, you'd have to plant an awful lot of them, so many have tried