The Homestone

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring tonic

This time of year our little dog Kali searches everywhere for the appearance of her Quack grass (aka couch grass, dog grass, twitch grass . . .) By any name it's a favourite herbal medicine of dogs and cats. Kali grazes on the fresh green shoots in spring and summer and fall. She loves carrots and yams too! Smart wee pup. I watch and wait for the little crop of dandelions under our kitchen window. They are always our first spring flowers.

The often vilified Dandelion is as nutritious as broccoli or spinach. It's attractive to birds and deer, and makes excellent food for sheep, horses and poultry.

Dandelions are well known to have medicinal value as a diuretic; fats and cholesterol cutter, gas pain reliever, treatment for kidney stones, cancer and diabetes fighter, blood cleanser, weight reducer, vision sharpener, skin and acne treatment,blood pressure controller and the list goes on ...

All parts of the dandelion are useful. The leaves can be cooked as table vegetables; the blossoms transformed into wines and jelly; and the roots can be dried, roasted, ground and made into coffee. Kali likes her Quack grass fresh. We fight the stuff like everyone else in our garden while appreciating that, should the need or desire arise, the roots of this invasive weed can be dried and ground to flour for making bread or boiled to make a syrup. The roasted root of Quack grass (like dandelion) makes a coffee substitute. The young leaves and shoots can be eaten raw in spring salads and juice from the shoots apparently makes a fine spring tonic. Bright flowers and good eats! Just their appearance on the meadow is tonic enough for one winter weary dog and her humans.

1 comment:

nikina said...

wow ... i can't stop reading your blogs...heheh. I followed a link on "wilderness living's" blog and ended up on your page. your pictures are gorgeous and your rings too :) I read u live in Williams lake ... I've been there twice, for a holliday when I still lived in Germany. it's so gorgeous up there :) I live in Northwestern Ontario now and love it here...anyway...I just wanted to tell you that your blogs are very nice and I would like to come back to read more :) Oh and by the way it is really really good to know that there are people out there who actually like and vallue the wonderful dandelion :) happy Sunday !!! Nikina