Save The Bees, Don’t Kill Dandelions

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If you’re like many North Americans, you grew up thinking dandelions were evil weeds, hell-bent on invading and destroying that hallmark of suburban bliss, the front lawn. But it turns out dandelions are actually pretty wonderful and amazing plants which should be celebrated rather than berated. Dandelions are flourishing now, and the vigorous plant survives all summer long, and is a delicious food source for bees and humans, so rather than fight them, why not make peace with them?

 

dandeloin-salad

make salad, not war

 

As any lawn fanatic knows, dandelions are hard to kill, and are very prolific. Perhaps, in nature’s grand scheme of things, there’s a reason for this. Dandelions are a major food source for many small creatures- insects, beetles, and honeybees and bumblebees as well, who are attracted to its nectar and pollen. All these tiny creatures need food to live, and they are all an integral part of the food chain. Honeybees are in danger throughout the world, and dandelions are a major food source for them, especially in spring. Many of us grew up watching somewhat traumatizing commercials like this , typical of a time when the solution to a something as hideous as a dandelion was to saturate the earth with poisons.

 

Save the dandelions, save the bees!

Save the dandelions, save the bees!

 

The name dandelion comes from the French, dent de lion, or lion’s tooth, referring to the tooth shape of the brilliant yellow petals. And these yellow petals are more than just a toothy grin, they are the key ingredient in the eponymous wine, of course, and are edible in their own right, high in antioxidants and vitamins. Dandelion tea has been calming nerves and soothing what ails you for most of recorded history, and gourmands enliven their salads with dandelion leaves – a robust bitter flavour reminiscent of endive and arugula. Even the dandelion root, so stubborn and difficult to extricate from the ground can be dried and ground into a coffee substitute not unlike chicory.

 

dandleion-tea

 

Did someone say cookies? If you need any more convincing that dandelions are your friend, not foe, the yellow leaves can also be made into delicious cookies. Crazy, right? So this incredible plant, life-giving source to the microcosmos of tiny lives, friend to bumblebees and honeybees, can also be made into wine, salads, a coffee-like beverage, and cookies to go with your dandelion tea. Kind of makes you look at the dandelion in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

 

Did someone say dandelion cookies?

Did someone say dandelion cookies?

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