Real Dandelions

Dandy Dandelion (Taraxacum)

When we bought the farm, which was abandoned at the time, there were no dandelions here. Our early spring flowers were trillium, skunk cabbage, cow slip and coltsfoot. The latter, the coltsfoot, looks very much like dandelions, but isn’t.

Dandelions grew down in the valley a mere 600′ lower in altitude but not here. Similarly we have no oaks although they grow well down lower in the valley. I have a solution to these problems though: I plant.

Years ago the kids and I gathered the delicate white puff ball dandelion heads as they were going to seed. We blew their parachutes out across our pastures spreading them on the winds. The next year there were a few here, not many. Then more, and more.

I love dandelions. They’re an excellent plant to have in the pastures. They bring water and nutrients up from deep in the soil. They’re excellent forages for the livestock to eat. And people can eat them too. Perhaps most importantly of all, they’re beautiful and fun. One of those signs of summer coming around again.

Outdoors: 74°F/49°F Mostly Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F

Daily Spark: Mistakes offer the opportunity for survivors to learn.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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7 Responses to Real Dandelions

  1. traye says:

    I thought I was weird but turns out I’m smart like Walter. Our farm has next tiki no dandelion but I’ve been working on that for the same reasons you did. I didn’t know you could ever find a place in the south without it but we did, next year that won’t be so.

  2. Julia says:

    Also, you can roast the roots and make a nice tea from them. And bees love them!

    Do you have a honeybee colony anywhere on your property?

  3. Ari says:

    This reminded me of a visit from my inlaws a few years back – they’d been out wandering round the garden and my MIL came back in and proudly told me they’d dug up the dandelions by the back door, cleared the whole patch out. I hmmed and didn’t tell her they were there for the pigs. Only guinea pigs at that stage, small suburban yard, but they loved dandelions. I’ll have to go find some more seeds in summer, we have a few here, but not enough yet.

  4. Jake says:

    My wife adores dandelions, one of her favorite flowers, so when I’m, spreading dandelions I’m not only earning brownie points with the pigs, I’m earning them with the Mrs. as well! We all win! ;P

  5. That’s funny. You must be a real puzzlement to your conventional farmer neighbors, lol. Farmers here are crazy about eliminating “weeds”. My efforts to introduce purselane were a big flop…

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