Thursday, June 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!