|Tuesday, January 19, 2010|
Dandelions are one of the first flowers we see blooming on the farm in the springtime, and we’re still finding bright yellow blossoms in late December. Early April is when masses cover the lawn, and that’s when we harvest them.
A dandelion flowers takes three days to mature. On the first day, a few yellow petals surround a button of unopened petals and that’s when we like to pick them. That evening they close back up, and when they open the next morning the button is gone and there are more petals. On the third day they start looking ragged and soon form the spherical fluff we can blow away with a wish.
They’re dried in a single layer on a table in the dark, and care is taken to prevent molding. Blossoms picked young won’t turn to fluff, but need to be thoroughly dried. A tea from dandelion leaves, is used to rehydrate them. Dandelions attract silicic acid, which is extremely important for our soils. They have potassium too, and are uses medicinally for liver problems and as a spring tonic. We want to treat the dandelion so that it will give the soil the faculty to attract just as much silicic acid as the plant needs. Them the plants will grow sensitive and draw to itself all that it needs.
Surrounding the stomach of a cow is a yellowish, net-like material called the peritoneum. When I remove it, I mark the inside with a safety pin because I can’t tell the inside from the outside once it’s free. I put the remoistened dandelion blossoms on the inside of a piece of the peritoneum and sew it up like a pillow. I pack them in tightly.
Alternatively. I have used the isles of messentary. This is a thinner membrane which holds up the intestines. It peels off fairly easily while everything else is still warm after butchering. In the agriculture course, Steiner mentions both the messentary and the peritoneum, and I’m not sure which one he meant.
The dandelion pillows are buried in a good soil in a flowerbed by a sandy spot. They’re dug up in the spring, and they have definitely rotted into a humus that’s black and waxy. They make waxy little balls, and a small amount is added to the compost piles.
Plants do not live in isolation. Everything in nature is a mutual interaction. We can bring about a wonderful interaction in nature, by giving the plants the forces, which tend to come to them through the dandelion in this way.
These preparations are so simple to make, yet have a profound affect on the compost, soils, and crops. Unfortunately, they are not widely known in America like they are in Europe and in other parts of the world. They are like homeopathic medicines for healing some of the detrimental effects from chemicals and compaction. At very little cost, compost made on the farm, with the addition of these rotted herbs, turns out to the best way to fertilize and revitalize our soils.