The ramp king is a man named Glen Facemire. His kingdom, he says, sits “on the north slope of the south fork of the Cherry River, with a good trout stream, seventy acres of woodlands, and my ramp farm,” in little Richwood, West Virginia.
And, since last year when he decided it was time to retire, it’s been for sale.
Facemire, now seventy-seven and slowing down, owns what he believes is the world’s only commercial ramp farm. From his little mountainside empire, he’s sent ramp seeds and bulbs across the country and even to England and Japan to folks who want to grow their own patch of the edible allium, a sort of cross between onion and garlic that grows cultivated here, and wild throughout much of Appalachia.
“I still say mine are wild ramps,” Facemire says. “People think we tamed them down like how a wolf turned into a cockapoo, but really there is no genetic engineering here. One side of the fence is wild ramps, and on our side, still just ramps.”
Facemire priced the riverside acreage and his farmhouse at $300,000, and he prays a successor—perhaps a young farmer or an ambitious couple—comes to see the property in April, when the ramps are ready for harvest and the hillside is awash in green. “Whoever gets the farm will be getting a good deal,” Facemire says, “and I’ll give them my book, Having Your Ramps and Eating Them Too.”
To learn more about the farm and contact Facemire, visit his website.