What if dandelions were the most beneficial plant on earth? What if we ate them instead of cursing them? It’s a question I have pondered for a long time.
Years ago i wrote a humorous essay for a garden magazine about being a Master Taraxacum Officinale Gardener(fancy latin talk for dandelions) and a lovely lady sent me the following letter…
Dear Master Taraxacum Officinale Gardener,
I have been eating all kinds of greens ever since I was old enough to understand the value of green food. I was a sickly child, but seemed to crave greens and would eat whatever I could get a hold of, much to the dismay of my family (who would say) “Don’t eat that stuff!”
After taking care of a husband with Alzheimer’s for a few years, and getting blind, I was run down. I turned to more greens and I think I can thank dandelions for saving my life and bringing my health to the best ever. I talk dandelions to everybody that will listen and to some that won’t listen too. One person said, “I hate them.” My response? “Dandelions are one of the greatest foods that God gave us for survival.”
I have a corner in my garden for dandelions only. I also have them in boxes on my front porch for winter use. Last year I dried some leaves too. They are nice when I do not have fresh ones. I use all organic in my garden. I also have alfalfa, stinging nettle (cured my bladder infections for good), lamb’s quarters and others, plus the more civilized plants such as spinach, kale and such.
I am 92 years old, square dance, belly dance, aqua size, do yoga, have a garden, take care of myself and my house and amaze everybody. All I can say: Do eat dandelions.
Greetings to a fellow dandelion lover,
How is that for a testimony? After all these years of cursing the Europeans for introducing this noxious weed to Canada, it turns out there was a very good reason they bothered to pack dandelion seeds as part of their survival kit for the new world. Health. If you think it’s hard to get enough doctors now, try living here back in the 1800’s. Sure it’s all swell and good to say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” but when you can’t grow apple trees, what then? Roll over and die? No need. Get back up. We simply need to replace the tired old adage with “A dandelion a day keeps the doctor at bay.”
Master criminals often say the best place to hide something is right under someone’s nose. While everyone is searching for a lost treasure map inside hollow logs or beneath acres of sand, the real treasure map is framed and mounted on the art gallery wall for everyone to see. An old brick used to prop the door open is really a solid gold bar painted black. That sort of thing.
Could it be the same for the secret to longevity? The lowly dandelion overlooked simply because it persists in popping up beneath everyone’s nose until it becomes dismissed as a weed. Something to hack, hoe and poison into oblivion. Maybe there’s a reason it keeps rearing its yellow toothed head. Maybe someone is trying to tell us something.
It’s a herb and it’s certainly hardy so it deserves a mention at Hardy Herbs and perhaps a corner of your garden to call its own.