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Dandelions: Don’t Kill ‘Em, Eat ‘Em

dandelion

The memory of my grandmother’s glee during this time of year is rekindled every spring when the light green shoots of dandelions emerge from the soil. Gram would get out there and dig like crazy before the plants flowered and became too bitter to consume (comfortably).

In Maryland this past Friday, some plants were already popping their yellow blossoms, which Gram would have gathered for her wine recipe (see below).

“They’re good for what ails ya,” she would say time and time again before she launched into a detailed explanation of how the long tap root pulled nutrients from the soil. “It’s spring tonic.”

Inspired by a dandelion and beer festival in New Jersey — could there be a better way to celebrate spring?! — we wanted to post a few links that lead to dandelions’ true purpose . . . to be consumed for nutrition and taste rather than to be killed by toxic lawn chemicals.

DANDELION RECIPES — You might be amazed to know how many foods are enhanced by this versatile plant: http://www.mountain-breeze.com/kitchen/dandelions/.

NATIONAL DANDELION DAY — Did you know the ubiquitous yellow flower has its own holiday? http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/national_dandelion_day.html.

DANDELION WINE — My grandmother just loved this (the only “spirit” she ever allowed to touch her lips): http://www.texascooking.com/recipes/dandelionwine.htm.

DANDELION BEER — I’ve never had this, but I’ve got to try it: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/brewing/fetch-recipe.php?rid=dandelion-beer.

DANDELION FESTIVAL — This event in Ohio is known far and wide (as are many other similar festivals): http://www.breitenbachwine.com/dandelion_festival_1.html.

DANDELION SEED — Yes, people really do plant this on purpose as a harvestable crop for culinary and medicinal purposes: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8211-dandelion.aspx.

DANDELION SOAP — Just about any plant can make its way into a hand cleaner: http://www.etsy.com/listing/56347121/organic-dandelion-french-milled-soap

DANDELION ART — Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of these amazing prints: http://www.art.com/gallery/id–b7360/dandelions-posters.htm.

DANDELION MEDICINE — The plant has been used in herbal remedies for millennia: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/dandel08.html
.

DANDELION TEA — Drink to good health: http://www.dandeliontea.org/.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

Number of Entries : 1024
  • minerva terris

    And don’t forget that dandelions are one of the first sources of pollen and nectar for honeybees! Imagine living on canned food all winter, the equivalent of what honeybees do in the north, and then finally having some fresh food! That could be dandelions! Keep at least a patch for honeybees!

  • Max

    You’re celebrating life here. All these links are great. The irony is that billion-dollar industry exists to kill these amazing plants. How warped is that?
    Max

  • Denise

    A doctor has set up a study for the use of dandelions in curing cancer in
    Windsor Ontario Canada, and as you know Ontario is one of the provinces that
    does not allow the use of pesticides and herbicides on their lawns. She is
    doing this research with the University of Windsor: http://www.leahcollective.org/articles/38-everything/73-dandelion-tea-sparks-promising-cancer-research-at-university-of-windsor.html
    Denise Figiel

  • Mary Menniti

    NATIONAL DANDELION DAY — Did you know the ubiquitous yellow flower has its own holiday? http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/national_dandelion_day.html.

    Wow! How ironic is that….when you click on the above link, a banner ad for TRUGREEN fills the whole top of the page

    • Paul Tukey

      Mary,
      We stopped selling ads on any of our web sites years ago because of the “rotation” the ad companies use. As a web owner, you never knew what companies’ ads were going to pop up there.

      High irony indeed.

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