From cursed weed to natural cancer cure.

Some of our favorite weeds to eat from the wild areas around us are chickweed and dandelions. We use chickweed in salads and soups and also on sandwiches like sprouts, and these are readily available growing wild, in and around our yard.1)https://gardensall.com/3-backyard-weeds-you-can-eat/

The other wild edible plant we eat most is dandelion. We especially love dandelion salads with toasted hazelnuts or pine nuts and roasted garlic and balsamic dressing. Here’s that dandelion greens recipe we use most often because it’s a delicious, quick and easy recipe.2)http://mytrainerfitness.com/dandelion-a-favorite-high-nutrient-salad/

We also use dandelion greens for green juice and the dandelion root tea for detoxing and tonifying the liver.3)https://gardensall.com/food-as-medicine-benefits-of-organic-food-from-the-garden/4)https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/dandelion

Dandelion Nutrition – Taraxacum Officinale

Don’t kill the medicine… eat it! Dandelions are highly:

  • Dandelions have more vitamin A than spinach
  • Dandelions have more vitamin C than tomatoes
  • Dandelion are a powerhouse of iron, calcium and potassium

We enjoy these so much that we actually planted a crop of dandelions (!!) this year in our experimental hugelkultur bed.5)https://gardensall.com/the-ultimate-raised-bed-hugelkultur/ We have to be patient though because you can’t start harvesting dandelions until the second year.

dandelion salad, grow dandelions, dandelions for health and healing

A Market for Wild Roots and Weeds

Many in the GardensAll community are interested in earning money from their surplus produce as well as figuring out how to earn a living growing intentional crops for market. Growing dandelions for profit may just be one good option.

Some people earn money killing dandelions. We rather like the idea of earning money growing and selling these nutrient packed powerhouse of a plant the delivers food and medicine from every part of its being.

Dandelions deliver food and medicine from every part of its being.

In 2014, these were the going rates in the Kentucky market, as published on ProfitsFromNature.com.6)http://www.profitsfromnature.com/may-root-prices-kentucky/ Naturally, prices will fluctuate each season and year, so always check with your local buyers.

Price per Dried Pound 

  • Goldenseal  $18.50
    (Note: Most dealers don’t want you to start digging any goldenseal until June because the quality will be better then.)
  • Goldenseal tops $5.00
    (Note: Dried tops must be green in color, not brown. Do not dry in direct sunlight.)
  • Bloodroot $12.50
  • Virginia Snake Root $100.00
  • Star Grub Root $75.00
  • Mayapple $3.50
  • Black Cohosh $3.75
  • Prickley Ash Bark $2.00
  • Dandelion Root $1.00

Here’s an excerpt on Yankee Magazine that sums up the marketability and market potential of growing and selling edible weeds.Though this is a bit dated, it gives you an idea of trends.

Recently I read that dandelion greens are selling for $9 a pound at trendy markets. Known in the trade as “yuppie greens,” purslane and lamb’s quarters have become just as desirable. It seems a very odd time to start charging high end prices for things that grow for free and were, for the most part, a cornerstone of survival for many during the Depression. Though it doesn’t seem like an odd time to start appreciating what grows in our yards and in the near forests. According to your own taste, there is an abundance of food out there that can be had for free.7)http://www.yankeemagazine.com/article/marysfarm/foraging

$900 for selling your weeds?! (And it’s legal in every state!)

 

Michael “Skeeter” Pilarski, famous permaculture instructor and wildcrafter, talks about the street value of dandelions and polyculture.

He calls this 0.85 acre plot “edible acres” or “Okanagan Biodiversity Farm”. He grows about a hundred different crops on this plot as a market garden including raspberries and elecampane. And… he grows weeds like dandelions!

Michael lets the dandelions go all season, and then he harvests them in the fall and sells them! During the growing season, the dandelions and other weeds feed the surrounding plants.

Dandelions are solar collectors, distributing collected energy to nourish the soil and feed other plants.

Skeeter explains that plants like dandelions are solar collectors and pump half of their collected energy into the soil to feed the web of life which then fertilizes other plants. Weeds also help to keep the soil from getting compacted. Tap-rooted weeds (dandelions have a wonderful tap root) can also bring nutrients up from deep soils.

Weeds feed your plants.

“Weeds in your pathways will feed your crops. Bare dirt will not feed your crop.”

Skeeter said there are four kinds of weeds in the garden:

1) real weeds that he doesn’t like
2) weeds he makes money on
3) crops that have spread
4) native plants

Other weeds he likes to encourage includes lambs quarters, red root and malva neglecta (aka common mallow or marsh mallow).

Skeeter likes the tap-rooted weeds, like dandelion, because they don’t spread with rhizomes.

We hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Shared from Paul Wheaton’s Permies.com8)http://permies.com and YouTube channel.9)https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsakAmIBPWSKOQrnuOXIsjA

Dawn Jackson Blatner, a Chicago-based dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association shared in a Wall Street Journal article by Anne Marie Chaker, “These plants learned how to protect themselves from the sun, the wind, the bugs, and those who eat them are reaping the benefits of that matrix of immune systems. One man’s weed is another man’s wonder food.”10)http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB124338226000356493

“One man’s weed is another man’s wonder food.”

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Dandelions for Curing Cancer

Long used for detox and healing, dandelion is now being studied for healing cancer, with positive results.11)http://reset.me/story/dandelion-root-kills-cancer-cells-in-lab-tests/

Enjoy this Tedx presentation on Nature, the Best Chemist by Dr. Siyaram Pandey.

“The best chemist is nature.”

Obviously, cancer is very serious and not something to treat alone. Consult you doctor and doctors working in this area of alternative healing and get informed for intelligent application of the best treatment options for you.

And… we’ll close with this enchanting time lapse video of a dandelion flower’s growth from bud to blossom to seed over a one month period. Enjoy!

Some of our favorite dandelion products and ways to use dandelion:

Dandelion tea for health and detox

Dandelion wine – one of our daughter’s favorite; it’s enjoyable but the rest of us really prefer elderberry wine.

Dandelion greens salads – here’s a super simple dandelion salad recipe.

 

Happy planting!


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