It’s important to Save the Dandelions because…
a) They’re yellow and pretty
b) You can eat them
c) They’re good for your lawn
d) All of the above
If you choose any of these as your answer, you’re correct! If you chose option d), you’re the most correct.
Today dandelions have the dubious reputation of being weeds, pests, and a blight on the lawn. But historically, dandelions have been cherished for their nutritional value, medicinal purposes, and beauty. They were known to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese. They probably arrived to the Western Hemisphere on the Mayflower, likely for medicinal purposes.
This month MOM’s is launching Save the Dandelions!, a campaign to raise awareness about how we treat our bright yellow friends and how we treat our lawns.
Three million tons of fertilizer and 33,500 tons of synthetic pesticides are used on U.S. lawns every year in an effort to make them look “healthy,” pretty, and free of dandelions. But all of that green beauty is only turf deep. Lawn care chemicals don’t just end up on lawns–they end up in our waterways and ultimately wreak havoc on our ecosystems and personal health. Considering that there are more acres of lawn than the top 8 U.S. farmland crops combined, it’s more important than ever to think critically about lawn care and the systemic effects of a chemically dependent yard. MOM’s supports organic, sustainable lawn care and is determined to do whatever we can to Save the Dandelions!
In partnership with Clean Harbors, MOM’s is accepting your unused pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides (still in original containers) for proper disposal.
Did you know…
- Pristine manicured lawns originated in 18th century Europe as a status symbol and slowly became popular in America during the post-war housing boom, creating a competitive market for lawn care products.
- Suburban lawns and gardens receive more pesticide applications per acre than agriculture.
- Lawn care chemicals help create Dead Zones in our Watershed that kill wildlife and make humans sick.
- GRASSCYCLE! Nix the bag. Fresh grass clippings are a natural, nutrient-rich & free fertilizer.
- 30 of the most common lawn care pesticides are linked to health problems including cancer and neurotoxicity.
- Lawn care products can be approved and registered by the EPA without a guarantee that the chemicals have been fully tested for environmental and human health effects.
- The #1 irrigated crop in the United States is lawn grass, using over 19 trillion gallons of water every year.
Let’s Save the Dandelions!
March 11, 2014
Greetings To MOM’s Organic Market,
Your campaign to bring to remembrance why dandelions serve a nutritional and
Medicinal purpose for our survival and how we are undermining our own health, for vain purposes,
makes a strong statement about your commitment to healthy food choices and
healthy environmental lifestyles. We can have both! And, thank you for your
Commitment on these issues. Best Wishes Elnora Williams ( Ganah)
Thanks, Elnora! We agree completely.
I used corn gluten to fertilize and weed the lawn. It takes a little and you can spread by hand, pets can walk on it, and children could eat it without worry! It is very cheap at a feed store!
I read everything about dandelions here–but no info on if the root is edible, the flower? I’ve never fertilized or put herbicide or ‘bugicide’ on my lawn for 27 years. It’s not so pretty, my motto is “if it’s green, it can stay”. But I can walk on it in bare feet!
Hi! The root is used in herbal teas as a detoxifier!
Gretchen – love the barefoot point (when I was a kid, a neighbor nicknamed me and a friend “Barefoot Walkers of the Earth” for our aversion to shoes in the summertime). My colleague Alyssa notes that the root is used in herbal teas, and both the greens and flower are edible. We have recipes using greens at Customer Service in all MOM’s stores, and there will be a blog post about the flowers shortly…
I agree with all of this completely, even though I don’t like the taste of dandelions. LOL! My main concern though is association guide lines. I live in Columbia, MD. Does anyone know how the Columbia Association feels about all of this? I think they may fine us if our lawn isn’t up to their standards.
My neighborhood (PG Co) has rules about the height of weeds or grass, but no rules about the type of plants allowed.
Your newsletter graphic shows what I assume is a honey bee on the dandelion but there is no information about the impact of dandelions on the bee population. I hadn’t thought of that. I googled and found a blog “Save the dandelions, save the bees!” http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/save-the-dandelions-save-the-bees. Thought I should share it! I’ll look at dandelions more lovingly now….not sure I can convince my husband to do the same but I will try!
Hey Nora, thanks for sharing that link. I love the picture – a field of dandelions is all right with me!
I have used pesticides in the past. How long would you have to wait before the grass/soil is no longer impacted by the previous treatments?
I use a mulching mower and I love my dandelions! To me, they’ve always meant spring is truly here!
What a great service to everyone. My lawn is turning to moss. My dream would be to plow it and have a gigantic vegetable garden in the front. My neighbors would surely not like it but I need to do something. The lawn is virtually gone. Any green, safe suggestions other than 1/8 acre of squash and corn which would have to have a deer fence around it.
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Can’t wait until the signs that we can put in our yards are ready. I also think signs that say “crab-friendly lawn” with Chesapeake Bay blue crabs on them would be great, too! 🙂
I like that idea, Katherine!
Dandelions can be a little bitter, but they are a delicious and healthy first spring green. My family has always eaten dandelion greens to celebrate spring. Here’s how!
First make sure your dandelions are clean. Avoid pet areas and of course, no pesticides!
You will need a paring knife and a bowl. Cut the greens close to the root. Young greens are tastiest, but large greens will also do. Fill your bowl. It will take a while!
Wash the greens thoroughly in multiple rinsings until they are completely free of sand.
Serve the greens with a sweet vinaigrette and a chopped hardboiled egg. The sweetness in the dressing helps to temper any bitterness in the green.
2 tbls sugar
2 tbls vinegar
1 tsp mustard
Stir to dissolve. Add a little onion powder for flavor, or add green onions to your salad.
You can also thicken the dressing with the hard boiled egg yolk, or with a tbl of mayonnaise or sald dressing. Enjoy!
SAVE THE DANDELION — it was deliberately imported to this continent because it is such a worthwhile green! and so cheerful!
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