Dandelions have exploded into bloom everywhere I look, Maple trees are blooming red & forsythias are blooming lemon-yellow. And everything is green, so GREEN! Lilac bushes with little bunches of buds waiting for their springtime debut, and the forest underbrush is filling out in all different shades of hope & life & renewal.
Hopefully I can get back to work this week, maybe just doing light stuff, but I'm starting to get bored with lying down all the time. I did read some really interesting books, though.
A good one I recommend to anyone, it's an exciting read-- "Mad Sheep: The True Story Behind the USDA's War on a Family Farm" http://www.chelseagreen.com/2006/items/madsheep
And I watched a really cute documentary "The Grange Fair: An American Tradition" about the last remaining agricultural encampment fair in the United States, in Centre County, Pennsylvania. Lots of great 4-H'er footage with their animals. I want to be a 4-H'er!
Been eating dandelions a lot. Good stuff! Raw, steamed... I'm going to try lactofermenting them (dandekraut!) and boiling the roots & buds. And who knows ,dandelion wine perhaps>?
To research: http://www.scouts.net.nz/cm/resources/programmes/R046.pdf
Some dandelion tidbits from
In Canada, the plant's root is registered as a drug. It treats conditions such as anemia, kidney disease, jaundice, arthritis, respiratory infections and gallstones, to name a few of many uses.
The plant's milky juices, which contain latex, help get rid of warts and can repel mosquitoes.
Dandelions are also known to reduce obesity. In scientific studies, rats and humans injected with dandelion lost up to 30 per cent of their body weight.
But the plant's most popularly known medicinal use is as a diuretic.
When eaten, dandelions can be surprisingly good for you. Half a cup of leaves has more calcium than a glass of milk. They're also an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, potassium and vitamin C.
In fact, when counting overall nutritional value, the U.S. Agriculture Department puts dandelion ahead of broccoli and spinach.
The best-tasting dandelions are the youngest spring ones, picked before they flower — usually in April or May. (But make sure you pick them from an organic lawn!)
The hardy dandelions tend to absorb toxins. And even with new pesticide bylaws, the soil containing them takes many years to replenish itself.
Harvesting non-toxic dandelions means choosing plants far from the roadside in a pesticide-free backyard or farmer's field, or in a wooded area.
How to cook them:
First, double-wash the dandelions in a sink of cold water. (They tend to be sandy.)
Cover them with water in a pot, and bring to a boil.
Much like spinach, they are ready once wilted and the water turns colour.
If using older plants, rinse and boil them again to take away excess bitterness.
Drain cooked dandelions and transfer to a pan with one to two tablespoons of olive oil and a clove of chopped garlic.
If desired, season with salt and red pepper flakes.
Then, lightly sauté on low heat for about 15 minutes.