The Homestone

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dandelions On the Menu

David ... and our Dandelions again ~ 

with his promise fulfilled to collect a few pics of the various critters in our yard that eat our dandelions. Were we to spray our yellow flowers to make the perfect green lawn, we would poison or kill the food supply of quite a few different animals and birds. Let's start big ... this Grizzly loves dandelions and we're sure glad because we would not want to end up on the menu...



and this family of black bears is so pleased to find this salad bar in the relative safety of our driveway, I say relative because that is exactly the same place as the grizzly pic was taken.

Groundhogs love dandelions,
as do chipmunks and rabbits and deer

Yellow headed blackbirds seek out just the right one in the closed position and bite all the seeds at once from the side.

and Pine Siskins pin them to the ground to make a meal of them one at a time. They prefer them in the parachute stage. 

And so it goes ~ enjoying all these critters and birds is worth every minute of the work we do to maintain a healthy ecosystem on these 48 acres and it's why we encourage and promote dandelions wherever they occur.
And we humans of course can also benefit greatly from the lowly dandelion.

We worked with Danny and Casey on their rings earlier this year. Casey and I were chatting about Dandelions and she kindly sent me her process for making Dandelion oil which I'll share here: (Thanks Casey)

- Pick the dandelion heads, then lay them out over some towels for about 24 hours.  I didn't do this the first two times I made it and after some more research I found someone's suggestion to do this as it reduces the amount of moisture in the dandelion which can then decrease the chances of the oil going rancid. - fill a 2L mason jar or glass bowl about half full with dandelions and then pour a blend of olive oil and grape-seed oil over top.  But I agree with you, almond would also be lovely, I have also used apricot kernel oil.
- Let the dandelions sit in the oil, in the sun for two weeks.
- Strain the oil
- I add arnica oil and essential oils, that assist with circulation or pain management as this enhances the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the dandelion. 
- Keeping it in the fridge does help keep it fresh and useable.
Casey says that she's had many people say it helps relieve pain in minutes, especially those with injuries or arthritis.