My New Favourite Weed.

Nope. Not cannabis.


It used to be fireweed. I mean, why not? It's pretty; apparently it's completely edible; I've never had to fight it from my veggie patch or flower beds . . .


And I've been finding mixed reviews as to whether or not it's even considered invasive.


What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

This past summer I've been discovering the virtues of the dandelion. It, too, is pretty, and more attractively named, at that. It's also edible. And I've always felt, deep down, a desire to love the dandelion for its finer qualities and to believe in its inherent goodness.


Besides, hating is hard work.

And mere indifference can take over an entire garden plot in one short season, with no compensation whatsoever.


Soooo . . .


I decided to do some research, and I found enough dandelion-redeeming information on the internet to convince me of it's viability.


I made salad and tea last summer.


And this summer—since eradicating them from my garden means digging out the root—I'll be making "coffee" with that.




In truth,

my salad

of dandelion

greens,

lavishly dressed

in

crumbled feta,

cranberries,

seeds,

and

balsamic,

was

perfectly

delicious!







And how I made dandelion tea:

1) Picked the flower heads—making sure to forage where no pesticides or herbicides had been sprayed. 2) Washed the flowers, then steeped in boiling water (Using a fine mesh colander worked great, but the flowers could be secured in cheesecloth, instead).

3) Pasteurized (I heated the tea to 175 degrees Fahrenheit, held it there for 20 minutes, then cooled quickly in a cold-water bath in my kitchen sink). 4) Sweetened with honey, chilled, and enjoyed!!





I froze my tea in pint jars and took it out to the garden with me, to drink as it thawed.



I actually liked this cold drink so well that this year I'm planning to make more of it—come spring and the first sighting of dandelions! :)






Ashley at practicalselfreliance.com is an off-grid homesteader, blogging in rural Vermont. She's a serious forager who shares tons of information on at least 20 edible weeds—many of which may be growing in your own backyard. If this sort of thing interests you even a little, head over to her website and learn to love a weed or two in 2020.


Then spread the love around! :)


© 2019 The Rural Hen