Friday, April 4, 2008

Dandelion Time

Bright faces of sunshine, growing in our yards, or anyplace a plant can grow. I think to the North American, dandelion is the # 1 plant enemy. The last few years, this sunny herb has been getting better press. In going back to more organic methods of gardening, people are reading the old gardening and farming books. We are finding out the dandelions were a desired crop, and before WWII, this plant was a friend. Yes, a plant that needed to be controlled, but not exterminated. Dandelion is not a native to North America. The earliest settlers brought the seeds with them from the old world. Dandelion was one plant they did not want to live without. Why? In the modern world we have had no use for this plant. Dandelion is so good for us! Just to name a few things it does for us. It stimulates our liver. After the long winter months of eating heaver food, our bodies need to be stimulated. It stimulates our digestive system. It helps regulate our blood sugar levels, and is a diuretic. It is full of vitamins and trace minerals. Are you wondering how to use this wonderful plant? I'm sure you have read about gathering young dandelion leaves to add to you salad. Or maybe you have made or sampled dandelion wine. I add the young, small leaves to salads. The large leaves are bitter. I also make dandelion vinegar. Using dandelion vinegar lets me have to goodness of dandelion all year long. It's easy to make. This took about 15 minutes to make, including pictures.
I gathered 5 dandelion plants from the yard. Flowers, leaves, and roots. They were in a area where people and animals don't walk. I washed them and scrubbed their root.

Then I chopped them and put them into a quart jar.

Then I poured Balsamic vinegar over them to cover.

I put plastic over the top to prevent leakage and to protect the lid. Then labeled with contents and the date. I'll shake the jar everyday for two weeks and keep it in a dark cool place. If the vinegar level goes down under the top of the dandelion, I'll add a little more vinegar. After two weeks, I'll strain it and pour it into a decorative bottle. I'll use it as I would plain balsamic vinegar.
So go out and rescue a few dandelion.


Look Beyond The Picket Fence said...

First, thank you for the nice comment. I must post some other pics of my house. I have clean lines in some rooms and too much in others. Can't seem to find a happy balance. I found your blog on dendelions interesting. Now that I am looking for some I know I won't find any. Dandelions, who knew?

A Romantic Porch said...

I love that idea. I'll have to start using dandelion. My parents did...when we would have "greens" plants cooked in water, then sprinkled with vinegar and oil before eating. Love,Rachel