Jun 10, 2010

My Father the Dandelion Killer


I was over at my parent's house last weekend and noticed my father had mowed the lawn.  Every inch of it, but one. 

"Why did you leave the dandelion?" My mother asked.
"It's not a dandelion, it's a flower!" Dad replied.

I'm not sure how it ended up in the yard, but the Valley is full of these yellow wildflowers each spring.  I believe they are called Yellow Salsify - but we just call them "those yellow wildflowers."

I find this lone wildflower in my parents yard amusing because of how my father normally reacts to dandelions.  He detests them.  He spends many a Summer day out on the lawn, on his hands and knees with an old kitchen knife, digging the weeds out by the roots.  (At least Mom and I convinced him years ago to stop spraying!)

This is his Summer-long mission, and by the end of September, his back is dark brown from the sun, and the knee pads that he purchases specifically for this task, are barely holding together.

Who knew he had a soft spot for other yellow wildflowers?  Now if I could only get him to save me the dandelion roots and leaves....

If you get your hands on some dandelion this Summer (that has not been sprayed) consider adding the leaves to your salads.  Dandelion is a great source of iron, zinc, potassium and vitamins A, B, C and D.  Traditionally dandelion was used to treat liver problems, but it can also be used for digestive issues.

Like any herbs, use caution if you have allergies or are taking medications.  Dandelion leaf is a diuretic, so having a salad entirely of dandelion leaves is probably not the best idea!  Check out a trusted book or website for uses and dosages if you choose to take dandelion as a herbal remedy.

As for me, I'm going to try to wrangle up a few leaves before my father's next big dandelion hunt, to put in my Spring salad this weekend.  Yum!

17 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Weeds are in the eye of the beholder, they say. Your Dad's funny!

Linda in New Mexico said...

I too love dandelion salad. Have not ever used the roots but just the leaves. When I had my green iguana, some years ago, I would take her out in the heat of the day to munch on the dandelions. Those were her second favorite flowers to eat, the first being hibiscus. She was a dandelion fiend. She would see them from her perch in the window and start bobbin her head.
Needless to say, we just let ours grow. But they stayed manageable because they never week to seed.

the wild magnolia said...

It is doubtful summer, or any other season, will find me on my knees in the yard. Tee-hee.

However, I understand your Dad's "dandelion" change of heart. When we are older, and I would know this, our minds turn a different way. We find things we didn't care for suddenly become dear to us. We don't want to loose anything, not even the dandelion.

Happy Day. Good daughter to visit your parents.

Bogaman said...

We all have vises. Apparently your dad's is dandelions. It does seem ironic that he would spend so much time ridding the lawn of dandelions and go to the effort to save that "other" wild flower. X.

Little Messy Missy said...

Hahahaha too funny!

mxtodis123 said...

I love that one lone dandelion sitting there. What a wonderful family tell.
Mary

Lisa said...

haha awesome.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

I have heard dandelions are good in salad yet have never tried it... As for wild flowers... what can I say I tossed many a seed out around my pond and this is the first year that we can really see something from it.

Vincent mowed around the pond today being so careful not to mow down my wild flowers... And like your dad when I mow and there is a flower in the middle of the yard... I always leave it standing... as silly as it is....

Judith said...

They are very bitter too, but adding them to a salad gives it zing! Plus being good for you.

Susan Erickson said...

one thing I have a lot of is dandelions! Thanks for the suggestion to put them in my salad....something i had forgotten about....

Aine Butler-Smith said...

Dandelions are wonderful! I take a daily live support herbal that includes dandelion. Dandelion root can also be roasted and ground to make a great coffee substitute.

VintageSage said...

I've never tried dendelion in a salad...or have eaten it for that matter but I've always wanted to try! They must add such beautiful color as well.....I'm back, Jen!! Hope you have been doing well and wonderful. I've missed you. So sorry I've been away for so long.

xoxo

halloween spirit said...

That's hysterical!

I think we as a society have turned against dandelions. I recall as a child having fields of them around our house. They were kind of pretty. Now it seems wrong to like them . . . :/

Dede said...

Your dad sounds like a hoot! Love that he took the time to leave "the other yellow flower" standing tall. So glad that you were able to spend time with your mama and dad! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

(((HUGS)))

Mary said...

I think that lone yellow flower speaks volumes about your Dad. I've never used dandelion in my salads for fear of over spray. I'll have to search out a certified organic source for them and give it a try.

happycrone said...

I have heard that dandelion wine is quite nice, though I have never tried it! My husband is like your Dad, hates the dandelions, I find the bees and other bugs love them, and the seed is loved by birds and small children, I don't mind them at all, all sunny and bright!

cinderelly said...

like happycrone, i have heard that dandelion wine is good...i wanna try to make some someday. however, my hubby also is a great dandelion killer!