Yay, it's April and the Dandelions are back! Little yellow miracles. They look good enough to eat.
Actually, they are. But most of the recipes call for breading and frying. Ugh. Or that awful sugary concoction that is dandelion wine.
Surely there must be better ways to use those yellow flowers.
Here's what I tried - chopped cucumber with carrot-ginger dressing, topped with a pile of yellow dandelion fluff. Actually pretty good.
Which got me wondering - why is there so much dandelion hating?
Is it just a matter of fashion? Where did the meme come from that dandelions are ugly in lawns? Don't people know how valuable they are?
What if we changed it? Imagine a neighborhood where the smooth green yard was considered barren and pathetic. But a variety of of plants was a sign of status. Imagine going outside to discover and harvest the dozens of edible plants right by the back door. Instead of weeding and spraying and mowing.
Imagine kids knowing the names of all the weeds in the yard. The trees and bugs and birds, too. Maybe some of the boring stuff in school could be pushed aside to allow a glimpse of the real world.
I would like that world for my little granddaughter. But she doesn't get out in the yard much. The tv is on a lot and the shades are usually closed. But one day we peeked out the window and saw a family of deer in the back yard. Another time a fox was sitting under the neighbor's deck.
So here are some reasons for making a place for weeds in our yards:
- they are good for the soil - 'nature's bandaid'
- they are food for wildlife and the insects
- many are good to eat - little nutrition bombs free for the taking
- no lawn chemicals and mowers are needed
- weeds are are fascinating and beautiful in their own unique ways