Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That incredible weed-the Dandelion

The Dandelion is an incredible weed. In suburbs and cities across the country, people spend thousands of dollars each year trying to rid themselves of this terrible pest to gorgeously manicured lawns. However, I am in the country and gorgeously manicured lawns don't exist here. I am happy to have my dandelions. In fact with the drought we have suffered the past several years what small patch of grass I did have has been reduced to a large postage stamp of a lawn. If it weren't for the dandelions, then I might have to sweep my front yard like my grandmother did as a child. However, the dandelion has at least kept it green. I have many dandelions as they are prolific breeders and I have discovered that they are great for something else, fresh salad greens. Yes the small dandelion leaves are quite tasty and healthy in a winter salad. They also provide some much needed living nutrition during those months when nothing else will grow. Dandelions don't mind a little cold and you might even find some still green and healthy under those first snows of the season. I don't really know though, I don't have to worry about snow. Dandelions here grow year round and year round provide my family with fresh salad. They are rich in vitamins and provided you don't use chemicals anywhere on your property are perfectly safe to eat. You can even cook dandelions like you do collards or turnip greens. I have never done this, but I know some old timers who have. As a salad the leaves have a very mild flavor, kind of like Bibb lettuce or mache lettuce. They are a little thicker than most lettuces, kind of like a spinach leaf. You don't want to eat the root of the dandelion. This is how I harvest them. I take a small spade and dig up the dandelion, then bring them in the kitchen and cut off the small leaves. Leave the big ones as they tend to be bitter. I then put the unwanted parts (roots, stem, and big leaves) in my kitchen scrap bucket for the compost heap. I then wash the harvested leaves and prepare my salad. Simply as that. Eating what God provides is a wonderful additon to your winter produce. So take a new look at the Dandelion and enjoy a fresh salad for supper tonight.

*Please make sure that you have not used any type of chemical in your yard or near your yard. If you live in town with neighbors then refrain from eating your dandelions as you never know what your neighbor might have sprayed that traveled to your yard. Chemically treated dandelions no matter how well washed are poisonous, so please be careful. I use no chemicals anywhere on my property. I also have no neighbors near who do, so I am very sure that my dandelions are safe.

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