ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Harvesting and Eating Dandelions

Updated on April 21, 2017

Dandelions


They grow everywhere or so it seems. You do not have to tend them, water them or feed them. All you need to do is appreciate them and harvest them, then enjoy them as wine, tea, in a salad or deep fried as fritters.


What I am I going on about, well dandelions, the most misunderstood and under-appreciated “weed’ in the world, well that may be a bit over the top, but you get my drift.


This is urban food foraging at its most basic. You may not even have to leave your own property to gather this most versatile plant. If you are a home owner and have a lawn, the odds are good you have a handy supply of dandelions.


Now you may have spent hours, each summer, in vain attempts to make the dandelion go away, but somehow, no matter what you do it keeps coming back.


Now you can give up the struggle and start reaping the rewards that nature has been putting in front of you for all those years and rather than doing battle, go and get some supper.


Dandelion greens are one of the season’s first edible arrivals and the ragged leaves add a distinctive appearance to the meal. They are best picked when young. Dandelion greens are high in vitamin A in the form of antioxidant carotenoid and vitamin C.


It is not necessary to be a gardener to take advantage of this useful plant. All you need is a lawn that has not been sprayed with poison in an attempt to control the weeds and it is quite likely that you will have dandelions in sufficient supply.


You can harvest the root, the flower and the green, so the whole plant, pretty much, is useful. The root can be ground and used as a coffee substitute, something like chicory, in case you are looking for something a little different in the morning.


You may find it faster to collect the dandelions if you work with at least one other person that is if you are planning to harvest the whole plant.


Have one person cut the flower and another dug out the root using a dandelion weeding tool. The tools often destroy the flowers.


Now, because dandelions are so plentiful in many lawns you can do an early harvest and take the young leaves and leave the root in the ground to grow back and then come back for the flower and root.


Or you can harvest the whole plant when young making sure to leave a few growing so that you can harvest the flowers if you want them. There are options which makes this even more fun.


So first step is to decide what you are going to use the dandelion for, salads, coffee, wine fritters and so on and then collect the plant accordingly.


If you do not have a lawn you may want to visit your neighbours and ask them if you can harvest their dandelions. Do this in early spring before the dandelion is bloom.


Tell them what you want the dandelion for and that you will remove all the dandelions from their front lawn. Unless you really love dandelion coffee or wine, there is a limit to how many plants you will need to harvest.


Friends and family many be happy to have your drop by and visit while weeding their lawn.


It is possible that people will look at you funny and whisper behind your back but hey you are getting some great exercise outdoors, providing food for the family, that costs nothing but your labour, and maybe encouraging others to step forward and stop poisoning the community and eat the weeds.


dandelions

courtesy- Per Ola Wiberg/flickr
courtesy- Per Ola Wiberg/flickr

wild greens

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    7 years ago from New Brunswick

    It does seem late indeed.

  • profile image

    Joseph 

    7 years ago

    I saw a few flowers here in Vermont today. Shouldn't dandelions be long gone by October ?

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    7 years ago from New Brunswick

    MrN got a source, it is possible but not been my experience.

  • profile image

    MrNellie2200 

    7 years ago

    Apparently the make you urinate a lot.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Here in Northern Nb they are not yet out.

  • profile image

    Karen 

    8 years ago

    Timely article, since leaves are still tender in most climates. Many people don't realize how simple it is to substitute dandelion greens for spinach or arugula in salads and regular cooking. I just posted about this the other day!

    http://thedailygrindchopandfry.com

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

  • profile image

    Imhotep 

    8 years ago

    This is my first season harvesting dandilion and yes the young leaf is sweet and tasty. This is a short season after it flowers the leaf becomes very bitter and the flower is okay. Can the root be dried and used as a tea

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, too many people take plants for granted or simply ignore them. Thanks for dropping by.

  • BeksGardenPatch profile image

    BeksGardenPatch 

    8 years ago from Queensland, Australia

    Great Hub-there are so many underappreciated wonderful plants-Dandelions especially, you have brought fresh interest with a very interesting hub =)

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Good name, thanks for dropping by.

  • scourtney profile image

    scourtney 

    8 years ago

    Definitely a keeper article, thanks for writing! I remember seeing people in France along roadsides collecting basket fulls of dandelions. The French call them Pissenlit (English = pee the bed) since they are a diuretic..LOL!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    It sounds like a good time, enjoy.

  • profile image

    Hoggy 

    9 years ago

    We live in Ohio and they have a dandelion festival every year in Dover, OH. It is the first weekend in May. This will be our first year going. Supposedly there will be all kinds of food there made from dandelions and of course the Wine :) which I like. I have also had the dandelion jelly which was very good also. Looking forward to it.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, the dandelion is a perfect plant it provides so much and asks so little.

  • profile image

    Mayra Mejia 

    9 years ago

    Great hub Bob! Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. And dandelion are used as a natural diuretic.  

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks Peter, stinging nettle surprises many people.

  • Pete Michner profile image

    Pete Michner 

    10 years ago from Virginia

    Very interesting article! I also found "List of beneficial weeds" on Wikipedia and was surprised to see stinging nettle in the edible category :)

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, the tomato is a member of the nightshade family and the famly rep, rubbed off.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 

    10 years ago from West By God

    Great Hub! Did you all know that the Tomatoe was considered a weed and they used to pick it out of the garden and throw it away! The things you learn by reading! I never ate Dandelions, but am going to have to give them a try!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks for the all the comments, young would be before flower and when the stem si just growing, maybe 3-4 inch leaves.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks for the all the comments, young would be before flower and when the stem si just growing, maybe 3-4 inch leaves.

  • Rob Jundt profile image

    Rob Jundt 

    10 years ago from Midwest USA

    We ate some dandelion greens back in the day at scout camp survival training. I really didn't care for them much, but maybe my palate has changed a bit. We'll see. Nevertheless, I have a saying around our house that says the only living things able to survice nuclear war are roaches, crabgrass, and dandelions. I sure hope the shelled little monsters get a hankering for these soon. LOL! Great hub as usual.

  • gjcody profile image

    gjcody 

    10 years ago

    We ate dandelions back when I was a kid and I won't tell you how long that was ...they are great. But I did not know you could eat the flower.  We ate the young ones before the flower came in bloom.  My mother always said they got tough after that.  Great in salads. 

    Thank you so much for sharing and taking me back ...As times are going backwards again ...people growing gardens ...canning ....freezing and etc. ...I think it is a time to take a better look again at FREE. 

  • ripplemaker profile image

    Michelle Simtoco 

    10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    I think I better check the local name for dandelions. :)

  • Isabella Snow profile image

    Isabella Snow 

    10 years ago

    Wow, I didn't know people ate these. Interesting!!

  • Shadesbreath profile image

    Shadesbreath 

    10 years ago from California

    This is great. Thanks for writing it. I only have one question... how do you know if it's young or whatever? If it doesn't have the yellow flower on it, I won't even know if it's a dandilion. How small are we talking here?

  • Bard of Ely profile image

    Steve Andrews 

    10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

    Bob, we think alike on this excellent herb and salad plant because I included dandelions in my thread on foraging here:

    https://hubpages.com/hub/Free-foods-and-herbal-med...

  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 

    10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    Great hub as always Bob!

    regards Zsuzsy

  • Jerry G2 profile image

    Jerry G2 

    10 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

    Great hub. I am personally a huge fan of dandelion wine. When it's made right, that brew is almost impossible to beat!

  • SweetiePie profile image

    SweetiePie 

    10 years ago from Southern California, USA

    Great ideas for dandelions and the fritters sound great! Thanks for the great hub!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for the comments, getting paid to pick a bonus; thanks C,S, for the testimony

  • cgull8m profile image

    cgull8m 

    10 years ago from North Carolina

    I would love to try this someday. One day my neighbor's kid plucked all the weed flowers, they looked incredible, so many colors in them.

  • kerryg profile image

    kerryg 

    10 years ago from USA

    Very interesting! My mom used to pay us $0.01 per dandelion head we picked when we were little kids, because we don't do herbicides and we lived, at that time, in a suburban neighborhood that looked askance on them. It was a nice little addition to my college fund. :)

  • C.S.Alexis profile image

    C.S.Alexis 

    10 years ago from NW Indiana

    Bob,

    This was a rabbit out of the hat. Good write and I am here to tell you that deep fried dandelion flowers are excellent. Been eating them for years. Glad you shared this one! C.S.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    the dandelions will come back and thanks for the comments.

  • profile image

    cvaughn570 

    10 years ago

    Very interesting. I never dreamed that these we were able to harvest Dandelions as food. Thank you for keeping us informed.

  • Dottie1 profile image

    Dottie1 

    10 years ago from MA, USA

    Now you write this hub! For 20 years my yard has been loaded with dandelions. This spring I killed the suckers. Who knew! Well anyway, now I know and I'm sure the dandelions will be back in the spring. Great informative hub Bob.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Only pick the young leaves the older ones, bigger, can be bitter.

  • rmr profile image

    rmr 

    10 years ago from Livonia, MI

    I've never eaten them. I do remember picking them by the bushel, for my grandfather's dandelion wine (which I was also known to sneak the occasional taste of, when no one was looking). They do seem to abound in my yard, so perhaps I'll try some greens.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Dandelions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandelion

    Thanks for the all kind words, there are many other edible foods out there, not all are tasty but will sustain you, the dandelion greens when young are quite good unless iceberg lettuce is your favourite. The fritters were delicious, I do not like the coffee and the wine is too sweet for my taste but other than that, yum.

  • In The Doghouse profile image

    In The Doghouse 

    10 years ago from California

    Bob,

    I guess if you are hungry anything might taste good, but really now... are they nasty tasting?

  • stevemark122000 profile image

    stevemark122000 

    10 years ago from Southern California

    Nice Job Bob! I've learned some great new uses for Dandelion.

  • marisuewrites profile image

    marisuewrites 

    10 years ago from USA

    Wow, again, I learn so much from you!! Thanks Bob, I go to harvest...

  • Marlene_OnTheWall profile image

    Marlene_OnTheWall 

    10 years ago from Singapore

    Another really good hub, Bob. Very informative -- I never knew you could do so much with dandelions.

  • CJStone profile image

    Christopher James Stone 

    10 years ago from Whitstable, UK

    Excellent hub. If only we all paid more attention to the free food supplies growing all around us.

  • Trsmd profile image

    Trsmd 

    10 years ago from India

    What is Dandelions?

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)