Why Does Everyone Hate Dandelion Flowers
I love the golden yellow bright against the green lawn. That is Spring to me. If it wasn't for the dandelion, I think I would be a lot more gloomier during this trying time of the year. Yes it is Spring but until everything dries out a bit , Spring is also the dirtiest season with the cold and wet and mud and rain before everything starts to grow.
Spring also shows the most pleasing changes I think. Starting cold and wet and ending sunny and bright. Just like a dandelion. Smile. It is probably the first bouquet you ever gave your Mom. Stop teaching your kids that dandelions are bad. Kids love them.
Did you know Dnadelions are edible? And not just the leaves
Take your dandelions with you where ever you go
What Is So Good About Dandelion Flowers
Dandelions are members of the Aster family native to Eurasia and were brought to North America by the first settlers over 300 years ago. Since then they have established themselves through out North America. The name Dandelion is French for Lions Tooth which describes the shapes of the edible leaves.
In fact. all parts of the dandelion are edible. The young leaves for salad greens, the older leaves for cooked vegetable, the flowers for making dandelion wine and the roots, when dried and powdered, can make a coffee-like drink. It was even used as a medicinal herb back in Europe as a cure or aid for liver or bile troubles and even as a diuretic.
It is a truly versatile plant and it's no wonder they brought it over with them when the settlers came.
What Is Not So good
Dandelions propagate rapidly with a very rapid life cycle. They are evasive and grow everywhere and anywhere. They have gotten the name of being a weed because of this but it doesn't mean it is bad. Unless, of course, you are one of the obsessive -compulsive people that requires a mono colored lawn. You keep working at it, I am sure you eventually get there.
Golf courses, I can see why they hate dandelions, but then again golfers? People who think chasing a little white ball around is entertaining. I am just kidding.
It's the way dandelions propagate that makes them so prolific. It also explains why dandelions seem to learn how to duck the lawn mower blades. They are asexual and basically clone themselves. So this means that when a dandelion survives long enough to turn to seed, those thousands of wind borne seeds will be exactly like the one that made the seeds. All those dandelions that ducked the first mow of grass, propagates into thousands. That's how dandelions learn to duck.
What side of the fence are you on?
Dandelions are not native to North America but they are here to stay. Where do you stand?
I love dandelions. I eat, drink and live danelions.
Dandelions were probably the first bouquet you gave your Mom... remember?
I hate that people use chemicals on the dandelion. Bees feed on them in the spring.
What I Use Dandelions For
I know you think dandelions, you think dandelion wine. I don't make dandelion wine though. I have tried it, just never made it myself. Just looking on the net though, you'll find lots of recipes for dandelion wine. Some use the whole flower head others just the petals. From experience, use just the petals. It may be more work but it makes for a wine that is not as bitter.
I like salad greens. After a long winter of iceberg lettuce salads harvesting greens from the lawn before they come up in the garden is a treat. I use the young leaves only as the older leaves are bitter. If you only have the older leaves to work with you can blanch them like spinach. A trick I learned from a neighbor when I was younger is to cover the section of dandelions you wish to harvest from with a sheet of cardboard. This blocks the sunlight from them and they grow blanched, similar to the technique one uses to grow celery. In this way even the longer leaves are tender and tasty.
As with any wild edibles it is best to eat sparingly, One never knows the full effect of large quantities will do to you. Being a diuretic means you'll be going to that bathroom more often and in some cases you get dehydrated so be careful about eating wild food in excess. A salad is not an excess., so no worries.
If you are lost in thought and
If stress is upon you or not
Make a wish and wish real hard
Then blow a dandelion seed head
and see you wish come true...