Of course I googled dandelions on PEI to see why the residents allow that little yellow flower to proliferate every available green-space and I found out that rather than try to obliterate the dandelion with pesticides and toxic chemicals they've chosen to embrace it, letting it grow freely all over the island. In fact, they even purposely grow it for harvest! And last weekend, over Victoria Day, the weed was celebrated in a festival with dandelion-inspired craft projects, information on the importance of dandelions in Chinese medicine and demonstrations on how to eat the completely edible plant, even serving up dandelion pancakes with dandelion syrup!
Like most kids, I used to love picking dandelions for a bouquet or making a dandelion chain to wear on my head or pressing then dragging the dandelion across my forearm to create a yellow streak. And then, after seeing how beautiful dandelions really are, I started to wonder how this little plant became such a nuisance and why we spend so much energy and use so many harmful chemicals trying to eradicate it.
Your thoughts? I know the dandelion competes for nutrients and water with commercial crops... but for those of us growing little gardens, why can't we embrace that pop of yellow color in our pots and lawns and flower beds?
Dandelions on Prince Edward Island. May 2013.