Yes! The blossoms and leaves have vital nutrients and were cultivated by our European ancestors. In the modern world, every year homeowners spend money and elbow grease to poison their lawns all to try to rid their lawn of dandelions. They could sell the dandelions instead!
What? Sell dandelions? The Ackerman Winery in Amana, Iowa, crafts delicious dandelion wine. To make it they need thousands of the plant’s golden blooms and they pay $8 a gallon for them.
The dandelion season has faded for the 2022 spring, but we’ve seen lawns with many dollars’ worth of blooming dandelions that could have been sold. For information on how to buy dandelion wine or sell dandelions go on the Ackerman Winery website.
Dandelions are an amazing plant. Native to the Old World, their seeds were brought to America on the Mayflower. For thousands of years, people considered them a valuable resource. By late winter people often suffered from vitamin deficiency. Dandelion leaves are rich in vitamins and green up in early spring. People ate them to restore their health. They are as nutritious today as they were in the past.
Only in recent years have dandelions been considered pests. Because they are prolific, common, and easy to identify, chemical companies encouraged people to view dandelions as pests so they could sell herbicides.
How silly it is to spend money to kill plants that are good to eat and so nutritious. Thanks to Ackerman Winery they can even add to a family’s income.
How People Unwittingly Encourage Dandelions
Observation reveals a dandelion secret. They thrive on mowed lawns and rarely grow in prairies, woods, or wetlands. Mowing invites dandelions to move in, and chemical companies are ready to sell potions designed to kill a plant with a remarkable relationship with people. A natural way to reduce dandelion numbers in a lawn is simply to set the mower to cut at its highest level. It leaves the grass a big shaggy but their leaves shade the ground and discourage dandelion growth.
We enjoy dandelions at Winding Pathways and steam young tender leaves every spring.
What a great story about dandelions. I remember Mom with a sharp knife and bowl scavenging the yard in New Boston, New Hampshire, and the fields for dandelions. Steam them and add butter perhaps some apple cider vinegar and voila! A green to have with your meat and potatoes. Thanks for bringing back sweet memories.
Dad used to make dandelion wine…
Dandelion wine in Iowa is big at the Amana Colonies.
Dandelions are also delicious along with other early Spring greens like lovage, arugula, and chives. Add dried spearmint, lemon or lime juice and olive oil with a pinch of salt for a tasty salad with a lovely high note.
Include a hard boiled egg for protein and a couple slices of baguette for a complete meal. Yumm!
Never had nettles, but they might be good, too.
We eat dandelions in early spring. Adding the boiled egg is a great idea.