Do you do the dandelion dance?
I do. I drink them. I eat them. I enjoy their bright cheery yellow “Hello!s.”
Dandelions were made for wining and dining everyone.
There’s an excellent free food source growing at will almost everywhere despite all the billions of dollars spent by lawn growers determined to eradicate it-drumroll please– the Incredible Edible Dandelion. It’s a plant often found in yards and lawns and just about everywhere you look. People tend to tear them out of their lawns without any regard for the food they’re wasting by doing so. How much do leafy greens cost in your market? Then again, if compulsive lawn growers have been dousing their precious grass with chemicals they’ve made the plants toxic–and probably other living things as well. I wonder what bare feet pick on such bright green beds? But, if you’ve got access to a chemical free dandelion zone then you’re in luck–go forth and forage at will–once you’re sure exactly what plant you’re looking for, of course.
A few thoughts about lawns:
Personally, I’ve never understood the entire lawn notion of fertilizing some grass to make it grow so that you can cut it down again and again and again. Heard the joke about the definition of insanity? Does not the whole concept of lawn care rely on a form of an insane game? This strange game involves expensive lawnmowers, fertilisers, herbicides, gasoline or electricity for any non-reel blade mower, plus a lot water for quenching the thirst of growing grass. And it’s made billions and billions for the manufacturers of all those noise toys and chemicals. Tell me why anyone would grow something which servers no purpose simply in order to cut it again and again and again? All the mowing creates a lot of noise I personally can do without. It’s a chore for whoever the job falls to in any household. I suppose it provides allowance money for children and wages for people who are willing to mow the grass of others who can’t or don’t want to mow their lawns and have the means to pay others to do it for them. Is lawn mowing a form of exercise? Hmm. If you’re using a reel mower which requires human push power, it sure can be. But is that a reason to grow a patch of grass?
Yes, a nice, neat, lush green lawn is very inviting for soccer and other game playing. They’re okay for picnics if there is more than grass and more grass to ‘enjoy’. I guess. Personally I’d prefer a picnic with a meadow view full of wildflowers, plants, bees, birds and insects all doing their things. Anyone who’s ever observed one knows there’s a lot more going on in a meadow then on a bed of grass pumped full of herbicides and pesticides and fertilizers. There’s those plants doing all their planty things in the grand natural scheme of things.
Dandelions are vital in the grand scheme of things despite what the lawn care INDUSTRY claims. Many Americans have been ‘educated’ to destroy this plant every time one perks up their basic green carpet with some bright yellow. Every time a dandelion plant is destroyed so is a prime human food source. Why would anyone want to kill off an edible plant full of vitamins A, K, C & E? (Oh, well, we are talking about the same mentality that killed off the buffalo which is a far better meat source than cattle of any kind. But I digress and that’s another story about industry and monetary profits instead of good healthy food and land use common sense.) And that’s just the tip of this saw-edged leafy green with the bright yellow flowers you can munch on. Oh don’t forget the roots, their edible too–and they make one of my favorite teas. As I have access to a chemical free green area I pick dandelion greens fresh for meals and snap the flowers off for tea at will. I have yet to make dandelion wine. If any of you have, please feel free to share your recipe.
You don’t have to take my word for it. A few other people consume dandelions. Just a few. You’re welcome to join us.
Dandelions are found on all continents and have been gathered for food since prehistory, but the varieties cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia. A perennial plant, its leaves will grow back if the taproot is left intact. To make leaves more palatable, they are often blanched to remove bitterness. Dandelion leaves and buds have been a part of traditional Sephardic, Chinese, and Korean cuisine. In Crete, Greece, the leaves of a variety called Mari (Μαρί), Mariaki (Μαριάκι) or Koproradiko (Κοπροράδικο) are eaten by locals, either raw or boiled, in salads. Taraxacum megalorhizon, a species endemic to Crete, is eaten in the same way; it is found only at high altitudes (1000 to 1600 m.) and in fallow sites, and is called pentaramia (πενταράμια) or agrioradiko (αγριοράδικο).
The flower petals, along with other ingredients, usually including citrus, are used to make dandelion wine. The ground, roasted roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. Dandelion was also traditionally used to make the traditional British soft drink dandelion and burdock, and is one of the ingredients of root beer. Also, dandelions were once delicacies eaten by the Victorian gentry, mostly in salads and sandwiches.
Historically, dandelion was prized for a variety of medicinal properties, and it contains a wide number of pharmacologically active compounds. Dandelion is used as a herbal remedy in Europe, North America and China. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems, and as a diuretic.
Surf over to Labellestudio where there’s a post about another great plant called stinging nettles. Check it out.
What’s your favorite edible ‘weed’?
The Perfect Lawn: How Obsession Fueled a $40 Billion Industry :>