Friday, June 17, 2011

Just Dandy :)

  The down side to not keeping a perfectly maintained garden means random weeds grow.
The good thing about it is sometimes herbs masquerading as weeds grow.
Yup. The lowly dandelion. Just recently read a great article about them.

"Two years ago, in the early Spring, we were up north near Chicago doing several seminars. As we traveled through the countryside to our next Seminar, I was overwhelmed by the profusion of bright yellow dandelions carpeting the fields and roadsides.
Northern dandelions seem to grow taller and thicker than our Southern variety. If that town was the only town in all the world where dandelions grew, then it would be on all the travel maps, renowned as a place of extraordinary beauty. People would come from everywhere to view the breathtaking wonder of the dandelions in Spring. But God in his wisdom and love didn't give dandelions to just a chosen few, he freely and generously gave them to most everyone....."
                                                   For the rest of the article, here is the link.

The article went on to extol the herbal powers and health benefits of this lowly plant. Since we do use limited pesticides in our yard, and some fertilizers.... (no not near my veggie garden, and yes, I am looking into more natural alternatives) I was happy to see some thick hearty dandys volunteer right in the garden!

 And since I was already cutting kale- decided to get some dandys too.

 One reason I love kale, - is that it is so easy to clean, - to a great extent because of a waxy-ish bloom on the leaves, (very like cabbage) that seems to shed water and dirt, so that cleaning is easy. - Anyone who has painstakingly wrinkled home grown lettuce understands that easy to clean is a huge perk!

Since I've been enjoying my smoothies so much, and have such a bumper crop of kale, - I wondered how to best preserve it so that I can enjoy the health benefits all year... fresh produce off season in the store tends to get pricey, and you never know what it has been sprayed with, or how it has been treated.
The quick easy answer? Drying it.

I crumbled it off the stems, into a bowl, and the filled a bag. - This was very quick and easy!
Just filled the dehydrator and let it do its thing, 'till the day when I had a chance to put it up.

Labeled and ready to use. - I can so see slipping a spoonful or two into casseroles, (like lasagna) since the taste isn't strong, - but it is a vitamin and mineral power packed green. I also plan to do this with my Dandy leaves, - to keep on hand just in case.
   And while I love the practical application of Debbi Pearl's article about Dandys, - it also got me to thinking about the things we value the most. Her point that if dandelions were rare, they would be valued and protected.   Yet even though not rare, - God gave them a purpose and value, - we just may not see it.

                                     What else is a 'dandalion' in your life today?

     When something is 'common' it is to easy to forget just how wonderful it it! - What is a 'common' blessing of God in your life. Health? Is it a rambunctious child that keeps you on your toes, - but full of health and creativity?
   I pray God gives us eyes to see, and hearts to understand the wonderful blessings he has generously given us today.
                                        A heart of gratitude is never disappointed.

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