Foraging dandelion is simple and easy. Plus you have the advantage that they grow almost everywhere. Midwest United States is filled with dandelion and a few different verities.
Choosing the right tools is important. You can use your bare hands, shovel, scissors, garden clips or my favorite this handy dandy, garden knife. One side of the blade is smooth, the other is ridge, like a mini saw. The knife is also curved like a shovel so it makes it easier to dig.
Like any other skill, you gotta learn how to use it. But honestly, its not hard to figure out. It even comes with a fancy knife case, which is actually really nice. Then you can store it in your back pack or on your belt, without having to worry about stabbing someone or something.
Now you gotta figure out what you’re harvesting. Personally, I enjoy taking the entire plant down to the root. If you are going for all parts of the plant. You want to put the garden knife into the soil and circle around the root. This will loosen up the soil. Now hold the plant at the base and pull up.
You have be able to pull up the root fairly easily. If you only got a chunk of the root its either because the soil wasn’t loose enough, root is further down then you thought, or you cut the root with your knife. This happens to me often enough.. As long as I get a decent chunk of the root, I am happy, and am able to use it.
If you are only in it for the leaves and flowers, you are still able to use our handy dandy knife. The blade will easily slice through the loft steams able to harvest the leaves and flowers.
I gently just rinse with cold water, separating the root from the leaves. Every part of this plant is edible. All can be dried out and minced for tea. Or you can take the leaves and add it to your stir fry, eggs, or smoothie. Many recipes for dandelion fritters, using the flower.
All parts of this plant are most beneficial to your liver. It’s known as a bitter and helps supports and aid your digestive tract. You can also able to roast the roots and make your own dandelion coffee (which is what I will be trying).
As you know a little about this plant, there is much much more, you can just walk outside and try some for yourself. Take that step and try something new.