Monday, April 09, 2012

A weed by any other name...

Sweet Annie from a summer past

I was hoping to have a couple book posts written by now but the Easter Holiday, lawn-garden work, and the addition of making my way to the walking path and spending forty-five minutes there each day have made my days go by too fast.

The walking trail is quite lovely as one passes by prairie swamps wetlands, cornfields (not yet planted), beside a bubbling creek, through a neighborhood, and up to a forest... whose trail I have not entered as I have been walking alone (you know, that whole Bigfoot fetish and all).

All of this scenery is in a two mile stretch of a walking-bike trail which picks up off and on around the entire town.  If I should decide to turn left from where I park instead of right... I would eventually end up in the Research area of the University where Christopher designs Apps part-time.  I choose nature instead.

Anyway... all this as a background to the whole weed thing.  As I was walking this past week, I noticed the yellow carpet of dandelions along each side of the path.  I love dandelions and my hubby despises them.

When our children were both tiny, they liked to bring me a bouquet of the yellow flowers with their chubby little hands.  I would occasionally allow them to pick the rare dandelion which was allowed to die a natural death and blow the fluffy seeds into the wind.  Which... when their father happened to see this occur... he would shout out a loud NOOOOOO! 

Asking if we were aware each puff of wind was allowing dozens of seeds to land throughout our lawn... we would give him a blank look as if we didn't have any idea.  Sometimes it is better to just play dumb ya' know.  Especially if you love to see fluffy dandelion seeds blow away in the breeze.

My husband and I have had this ummm... discussion... about weeds vs. flowers for decades now and the primary villain (until perhaps the pretty violets of Creeping Charlie in our current lawn) has been the dandelion.

For years I have told him of my Southern family actually eating the pretty yellow flowers and greenery but he would scoff and say we don't eat weeds... we nuke them.  I would say something back while muttering "city boy" under my breath.

But recently I had a friend of dandelions come about from left field as my husband read a book called One Second After.  It is a gritty story (not from a Christian perspective with "language" and all) about what the United States would be like after an EMP strike. 

He tells me the humble weed became a fine feast in the book.

I shouldn't have said "I told you so" but I couldn't help it.  Hundreds of years of culinary history back me up (after all... the French made snails a delicacy so one must not say anything about a little yellow flower and its' equally humble greenery).

I'm not sure it would stop him from pulling up the "weeds" but after reading the book, he is quite doubtful he could "nuke" a lawn which may provide food should we experience a national emergency.

The jury is still out on my beloved Sweet Annie (I have yet to tell him there is a dreadful rumor it is related to ragweed).  ;)


Anonymous said...

You are wise not to walk alone in the woods. Not because of Bigfoot but a girl was assaulted walking alone in a wooded area in our 'nice' neighbourhood recently.

Mrs.Rabe said...

I had to google Sweet Annie as I had never heard about it! I like the look of it...I am going to research it's uses...yes, I am weird that way! :) Lindsay got interested in edible foods in the wild, after reading "My Side Of The Mountain." She cooked the flower heads and we ate them, kind of bland but very good nutritionally! The greens are good for you too! I know someone who eats them like spinach salad...she loves them!


...they call me mommy... said...

I read Vittoria Cottage after I saw you recommend it on Sarah Clarkson's was just lovely! Thank you! :)

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Oh, Brenda, once my herb group was making wreaths in a smallish barn, wreaths made of Sweet Annie. In no time at all every single one of us was sneezing her head off. It can be such an allergen.

Vee said...

My great-grandmother made us a "mess" of them one spring. It was nothing that I'd ever like to try again. ☺ I do love to see them blooming in somebody else's field. Must go find out what Sweet Annie looks like. I am unfamiliar with the name.

JoannaTopazT said...

I love the look of dandelions as well, and the play value (necklaces and bracelet chains from the stems/"do you like butter"/blowing the seeds...) and have long thought this emphasis on chemically killing off a valuable food plant is counterproductive. It makes me sad to hear that new immigrants to this country who live in my city, who were so excited to see all the beautiful flowers that came up in their yard, were made to feel ashamed of these weeds by their neighbors.

Anonymous said...

I love sweet annie - both the smell and the delicate little flowers....I can't seem to grow it for some reason....


Fixing My Thoughts said...

I actually love dandelions! I love to see a mass of them in a yard. (But then I'm probably too laid-back sometimes.) We had a good stand of them this week that we left alone, and the bunnies have been thrilled! Bess

suzanne said...

one man's weed is another person's lovely and sometimes edible flower!

Anonymous said...

My grandmother used to say it was Noah's job to gather two of every animal, and it was his wife's job to gather 2 of every plant. Supposedly she didn't fulfill her duty and that's why we have to deal with weeds! Little buggars disguised as flowers! :)

Just a fun little wives tale, of course.

Front Porch Grace said...


I apologize for commenting on so many of your posts today. I have had a lovely day full of homeschool, catching up, beginning spring-cleaning, and house chores. All day my "treat" was to read one or two of your posts between jobs in order to catch up.

Your posts are wonderful incentives.
: )

Dandelions are wonderful eating, healing, and wine. We use 'em up. (And annually we blow the pretty white dandelion puffs to make certain we have more!)

It's been a really nice day catching up with you. ; )

Blessings to you and yours. (I didn't notice any updates after your doctor appointment. Trusting all is as well as can be.)

In His Grace,

PS Still squinty-eyed about the Kindle, but if you recommend it, with such honesty, I may yet try one on for size. LOL

Anonymous said...

A friend and I had every intention of gathering enough dandelion flowers to make jelly once. It snowed that night and we weren't able to get the flowers. Someday I'll try again - it's just hard to find them somewhere that isn't covered in chemicals.

I still blow the dandelion puffs when I have a chance. Clover is the weed that I pull up with a vengeance!

-Connie in San Diego