Monday, July 21, 2008
Dandelion - Taraxacum officinalis
I decided to harvest dandelion root and leaf today since I avoided mowing the lawn for two weeks and the leaves are still happy and lush. It didn't take very long and it was quite satisfying when I managed to pull up the whole taproot. I also noted how the soil around the dandelions is nice and loose, due to dandelions knack for aerating. I will actually hang the dandelion leaves later, for now I was being too lazy to do more than place them on the drying rack (under the flour sack towel).
My one concern with the whole process was how much water I wasted in cleaning. I am sure their must be a less wasteful way to process roots and leaves - maybe just leave the dirt on them?- but the dirt was wet so it stuck really well to the roots and since they were in the grass the leaves were covered with grass and slugs, not exactly appetizing to keep that sort of debris on them. I think I will try soaking them in a pan of water to remove the dirt and slugs, and have a second pan of clean water to rinse them through a second time. I never have this problems with anything in the mint family! Geeze.
Now I need to figure out how to get rid of those tiny bugs all over my Calendula. Any advice is welcome, for now I am hoping those bugs just go away once the flowers are dried. (go away is a relative term since I just noticed three crawling across my laptop screen...I need to stop drying herbs in my bedroom.)