Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Flower Power - Ode to the Dandelion

Many of the lawns in Lexington, Kentucky, are covered in dandelions.  Little yellow flowers everywhere.  Some yards have many.  Some, like ours, just a few.

My husband Chip is not a dandelion fan.  He likes a well manicured yard, and somebody, at some point, decided that dandelions are not an ingredient in the recipe of the happy weekend gardener.

It seems a popular way to rid a lawn of dandelions is to spray the flowers with Roundup.  Roundup is made by Monsanto (not my favorite corporation).

It's interesting to me that people actually pay money to purchase dandelions.  People eat dandelion greens.  Check out this recipe:  People consume dandelion wine.  There are known health benefits to eating dandelions: Why, oh why aren't we picking these weeds, taking them to the Farmer's Market, and making a profit off of them?  Wouldn't that be smarter than burning gas to drive to Home Depot to purchase Roundup, that puts money in ugly Monsanto's pocket?  Seriously!  Wouldn't that be better than spraying chemicals on something somebody could eat?

Yes, I know.  Really, what's the big deal about dandelions?  That's precisely my point.  What's the big deal?  They're pretty little yellow flowers that become instant blow toys for children.  Maybe God doesn't care for our lawns to look like August National.  Maybe we shouldn't become aggravated with the neighbors when they are a bit more nonchalant about weeds than we are.  Perhaps you're thinking I read too much Wendell Berry and Barbara Kingsolver.  I'd be happy to discuss their works with you over a cup of dandelion tea:

The First Dandelion
Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging,
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass — innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.”
–Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

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