Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

**cross-posted from my blog, Semi-Farmed Kind of Life**


My daughter found this this morning where her dad parks as we waited in the driveway for her school bus to come.

She took it as an omen that our days would be fantastic. She's going to ace her Science test, she said, and I'll have a good day at work. Shortly after she left, I saw a rabbit hopping lazily through my backyard, munching the tall green grass that's growing around our septic tank. Take all you want buddy, I thought. It's too soggy, so consider it your own personal buffet. Thanks for your help with taming our jungle.

I went outside to try and get a picture of our furry woodland lawnmower to share with all of you, but he had hopped out into the part of our yard that I lovingly have started calling our field of wild greens. We have A LOT of dandelions growing out back. I'm pretty sure they'd be safe to pick and eat if I only knew what to do with them. We don't use any herbicides or pesticides here, and it had been at least 3 years before we arrived that this homestead sat empty. (If you have any great greens recipes for a first-time forager, please pass them on!)

Instead of cute rabbit pictures to get you through this hump day, here are some other things I discovered unfolding around us. I need you help in identifying a few too if you wouldn't mind.
The Lilac Outside My Bedroom Window
What is this taller plant with the little flowers and heart shaped leaves on the tall stalk all pointed downward?

Are these chives?!? What do you think? They smell like onions when picked!
Please share: tell me what you think these plants are or something productive I can do with all these dandelions. I'd love to hear from my fellow homesteaders, farmers and friends. What sorts of heavenly things (sights or smells) are outside your door today?

Views: 86

Comment by Christa Nelson on April 29, 2011 at 9:36am

Hi Heather,


You had asked about what to do with the dandelions.........  


You can totally eat them as a salad green.  There's a gazillion dandelions here at our homestead, and I add them to leafy lettuce salads at a ratio of about 1:3.  They're a bit bitter, and are good salads by themselves if you use a sweet dressing.  Here in south central PA, an old-timey approach is using hot bacon dressing, which is sweet and sour.


You can also make wine from the dandelion blossoms.  It's pretty easy, and I have a batch brewing currently.  This video is a nice intro to dandelion wine.....  http://www.howtohomestead.org/?page_id=524


Comment by Nicole Karr on April 29, 2011 at 10:51am
3rd photo is something in the mint family I think, although it doesn't smell pretty when you crush it, does it- are the stems square? Last photo looks to be garlic and those greens are great cooked up. Mystery plant ID is fun!
Comment by Renee Garner on April 29, 2011 at 11:44am
My guess on the middle pic is deadnettle.
Comment by Lynda Reynolds on April 29, 2011 at 1:24pm

first plant looks like nettle...touch and if it stings you've got yourself some stinging nettle.  The other looks like wild garlic/onion scapes.

Comment by lexirain2001 on April 29, 2011 at 6:45pm
OOH- Dandelion Wine! I hadn't thought of that~ intrigued.... what's it taste like?
Comment by Kristie Nackord on May 1, 2011 at 4:46pm



-Dandelion pesto (use your favorite basil pesto recipe and replace basil with dandelion).


-Dandelion tea, harvest young leaves before plant flowers.  Blend with mint and you've got yourself the best spring tonic the earth could provide. And the safest diuretic, loaded with potassium.


-Dandelion stir-fry--throw fresh, young leaf greens into your favorite stir-fry recipe.


-Dandelion tincture, experiment making tinctures. It's a great way to take in the dandelion medicine especially in the winter when no dandelions are to be found.


And outside my door today is about 6 inches of much needed snow! And my sights are graced with red wing black birds, yellow headed black birds, rosy finches, ravens, doves,  horses, dogs, mountains....


Good herbal crafting to you~



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