Apr 19, 2016

Wildflowers of Spring and Garden Hacks

Springs brings a lot of wildflowers, along various hiking paths in the woods and even in your lawn.
If you don't spray your lawn with any weedicide chemicals, the stray wild dandelions are a useful and nutritious addition to diet. A quick google search for "what part of dandelion is edible" will provide you all the answers. You might also come across webpages indicating useful nutritional properties as well as side effects of dandelion leaves, flowers and roots (Source U.Maryland Medicine).

People use them as salad toppings. For advanced practioners (over 21), you can also be making wine.

I tried something else though.., which may not qualify as the most healthy food...

I present to you, the Dandelion Bhajiya (Hindi-English: Fritters) made with dandelion blooms as the primary ingredient. (Make a thin chickpea flour batter with some salt and spices, pan fry in shallow 1/2 in deep hot oil at medium heat, turning them over in 2-3 mins). Made some ramp leaf fritters too.

This snack pairs well with hot coffee or tea during rainy days.

A general bhajiya preparation method is shared here.

Garden Hack

Since I combined my evening picking dandelion flowers with some other gardening, I am also sharing low cost methods to gardening.

Seeds;  Early in the season (Jan-Mar) google Seed swaps and locate some in your area and take advantage of excess seeds.
Craigslist and Freecycle: Sometimes people are giving away pots, potting soil etc. Make sure to treat the potting soil to remove any potential pests. (Heat treatment under sun, esp covered with black trash bags is one of the best methods to decontaminate, deweed old soil).

Buy Cheap: Here's a tip that worked for me this season in Morgantown WV (confirm this with any employee before at your local stores): Lowe's and Home Depot both offer "open bags/ torn bags" of potting soil, mulch etc for a much lower $1 or 50c each. So go to the garden section..walk around and find any torn bags.. They also have large empty plastic bags that you can use to keep the torn bag in and scoop up any of the loose soil from the floor. I stumbled upon this when I asked a Lowe's associate about discounts on torn bags.

Once I found out that the garden soil bag (torn) was $1 I walked around and located a torn mulch bag and bought that. I actually found 2 mulch bags and other potting soil bags that were torn, but I didnt need a ton of mulch, so I bought only one bag of mulch and another bag of potting soil.

So for a price of $3, I had bought stuff that was worth $ 14-16 or so altogether!
garden soil and mulch bought for cheap


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