The Incredible Edible Dandelion

Where I live ALL the dandelions are in bloom, and I wanted to write a brief dedication to this inspirational "weed" full of sunshine and unapologetically hard to kill, because it can be so much more than just a deep-rooted pest or an early pollinator plant...


4/9/20222 min read

Feral. Rebellious. Stubborn. Bright. Unapologetically difficult to kill. Friends with bees. Full of wishes that will be carried on long after they die. Highly disapproving of well groomed lawns. Beautiful in a way that offends those who long to control, regulate, and perpetuate the conventional. Happy. Unable to ever be fully destroyed.

There's a lot to admire about the dandelion, and it isn't just it's ability to signal spring, or piss off Boomers and HOAs as if their perfectly manicured lawns are directly linked to their self worth ;)

In a recent #WitchStackWednesday post on my Instagram, I mentioned one of my favorite books - The Rural Diaries - by Hilarie Burton Morgan and how it's not a traditional "witchy" book, but definitely has a witchy vibe with many of the recipes. In it, the author talks about her favorite book - Dandelion Wine - by Ray Bradbury and how every year their family collects dandelions and pulls the petals from the sepals in order to make wine, or summertime in a bottle, that can be enjoyed all year round...even when summer seems so very far away. It became a ritual for their family that has many memories attached - some joyous and some bittersweet.

Ever since I read this book, when it first came out in May of 2020, I've been wanting to make dandelion wine, but the season got away from me in 2020, and again in 2021 and the flowers were gone before I could collect what I needed - 1 whole gallon of bright yellow petals. This year, as soon as I saw our pasture and the neighbor's dotted with drops of sunshine, I pounced or rather, bribed my family to help me in my endeavor. Then as I spent an entire afternoon plucking these petals, I wondered...what else might this persistent little plant be used for?

Ode to a Dandelion

Tonics, and soup and salves, oh my!
Wine and salad, teas and dye, say what?!
The roasted root as a caffeine-free substitute for coffee...but why though?
Vinegars, honey, oils and syrup, yum!
Jelly, soaps, lotions and tinctures, you don't say!
...and CUPCAKES, now we're talking!

Okay, so I'm not going to win any prizes for poetry, but maybe my Dandelion Wine will be delicious. Or perhaps my Dandelion Salve - which is great for chapped, dry skin and is available in my shop in both a woodsy citrus scent and with lavender - will be damn near award winning. These little drops of sunshine that frequently grow up between cracks in concrete - a symbol of rebellious resilience - has already inspired curiosity and imagination among my family members. My whole family helped pick flowers for wine and salve, and my mother-in-law is steeping her own dandelion syrup at this very moment. What's not to like about that?

However, even if none of these things spark your creativity - the dandelion can still be admired for its tenacity, appreciated for being one of the earliest sources of food for pollinators every spring, marveled for being over 30 million years old, and loved for carrying thousands of wishes out into the universe to perhaps one day be answered...

Citrus + Copaiba Dandelion Salve available in shopCitrus + Copaiba Dandelion Salve available in shop