Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: The perennial argument over the annual Dandelion
After this Winter, I’ll bet SOME of you are happy to see the cheery yellow flowers of the Dandelions. I had some sweet siberian squill starting and then freezing their little blue buds off last week. Ahh, but they survived and there are further signs of Spring, including my latest addition from last year, a Spirea called ‘Candy Corn’. It has an array of colors from Spring (red) and Fall (candy corn!)
Back to dandelions!
My husband and I battle over these plants (I’m choosing not to say weed!) He wants to treat (herbicide), I don’t. We are generally surrounded by them anyway, so why not just give in. They are also very inviting to pollinators AND, wait for it…. You can EAT them, not just drink the wine! Europe has embraced dandelions for centuries.
The roots can be harvested when the ground thaws and can be eaten raw, steamed or even dried, roasted and ground into a coffee substitute. The flowers are best known for winemaking. But you can add them to your salad, make jelly or dip them in batter to make dandelion fritters! The leaves are a veritable treasure of good stuff for you. Loaded with antioxidants, potassium and vitamins A and C, you’ve got a medicine cabinet in your lawn. The greens can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled or sautéed. Be sure to harvest them young if you’ll be eating them raw. The older leaves can be bitter.
Remember to NEVER eat anything that’s been treated with a pesticide/herbicide… pick only clean greens. One of my favorite magazines has an article about dandelions along with some recipes: Mother Earth News.
Fun fact – Dandelion means “Lions Tooth”! You can actually order organic dandelions to plant… here’s the link to plantgoodseed.com.