Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ode to Dandelions!

I love Springtime!  I love the warm weather, the beautiful colors, the fragrant blossoms, the longer days, the free food growing all over my yard....
dandelions, garlic mustard, chickweed, oh my!
Beautiful daffodil picture courtesy of my beautiful camera girl!

But, there are things that I hate too.  It makes me FURIOUS to see people outside spraying what grows naturally in their yard.  I actually started crying yesterday (ok...I was a bit tired too) when I saw a man outside with his spray of cancer-causing dandelion-killing stuff.  What are people thinking???  Cancer rates are higher than ever, and I know that this is one reason.  You can't spray harmful chemicals in your yard and not have dire consequences to ALL living things.  If they are meant to kill weeds, then they are meant to kill.....period.  
If you are currently using harmful chemicals in your yard to kill "weeds," please take a moment to think about this choice.  A beautiful yard does not have to include a golf course lawn.  Or, if you want a perfect lawn, then you can use organic and natural ways.  Check out Mike Mcgrath if you need help changing your ways.

We are so lucky to live in a house that is buffered by trees on most sides.  Our only neighbors care about the Earth and the humans that occupy it and don't use any chemicals.  However, my parents' neighborhood is another story.  When we lived there a few years ago, I had to give up my morning walk due to the toxic smells that were coming from the "perfect" lawns of their neighbors.  One neighbor, who pays a company to come and spray her yard with chemicals, wondered aloud to me why so many of her friends have cancer.  Really?  Another neighbor and old childhood friend of mine has the same company spray their yard, and then her children go out and play in the same grass.  I know that she loves her children, so why would she take this risk all for a green lawn?  It is absolutely incomprehensible to me.

Please, for the sake of humankind, let the weeds grow or pick them if you don't like them.  Many of them are super nutritious, real powerhouses that have been eaten for thousands of years.
And the dandelion tops the list!
Dandelion leaves emerging...beautiful yellow flowers to come.

Here is an article about some of it's virtues:  http://motherloveblog.com/2011/07/12/eat-your-dandelions/.  I harvest the leaves and flowers starting now and continuing all summer.  I add them to smoothies and even make a pesto with them.  In fact, my son Ben has said to me, "I only like smoothie with dandelion!"

I was about to post a recipe for my wild green pesto, but then I remembered that my good friend, April, had posted one awhile back.  I checked her recipe, and it is exactly the same as mine.
Here is a link to her wonderful recipe:
You can use any spring greens that you can find growing in your yard...just make sure that they have been grown in a chemical-free area and away from the road.

Here is what I did:
First, I found some beautiful wild greens during a lovely morning walk through my yard.
This is Archangel.  April did a beautiful post about this wild Spring green here.

The amazing dandelion!

Cleavers.  More about that amazing wild here here.

Beautiful bowl of dandelion, archangel, chickweed, and cleavers.

I got a turn with the camera, while Amelia picked some Archangel.

I just love how she set up this photo!

Wash the greens gently.

Put the greens into the blender with a clove of chopped garlic (or garlic mustard, if you have some growing WILD).

Add some of these beauties....raw walnuts, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt and pepper.

A yummy, healthy bowl of Spring greens pesto.

I had some right away with some cucs and broccoli for dipping.  Yum!

A healthy dose of Spring nutrients, free and fresh from your yard with every bite!
Eat your weeds!

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