Agriculture

Dandelions, Awake!

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce you to the neighbourhood quail doing their tra la la back in the sweet time of flowers and weeds. At night, this stretch belongs to the coyotes, owls and deer, who have their own mysterious thing going on, but right now it’s time for cooing and head bobbing and, oh, did you see that coffee growing at the side of the path?withquail

Friendly Agriculture 

Quails, dandelions, and humans sharing an ecosystem.

Back in the Second World War, the danes, being clever and thrifty, blended their coffee with dandelion and chicory to make it go further, because nothing went very far back then and ships had a habit of sinking. Well, that’s one form of agriculture. Here’s another …

sprayed

Industrial Apple Orchard in the Week of Chemicals

Those dandelions under the trees have been poisoned with an industrial brew pioneered by Monsanto, called glyphosate. I don’t recommend eating them.

Ironically, there just might be more money in those dandelions than in the royal gala apples above them, in which there really isn’t any money at all, but lots of expenses. This, for one…

800px-Glyphosate-3D-balls

Glyphosate

Down at the molecular level, in the children’s construction toy model design often favoured by chemists. The stuff ain’t cheap.

Dandelions are cheap, though. Their leaves make salads, their flowers make wine, their tea is anti-carcinogenic, and their roots make coffee, especially in the winter, when they store their minerals for the dark and look like this…

withcarrots

Dandelions Hanging Out With Their Carrot Buddies

Note to self: wash them in a bucket next time. Sheesh.

I mean, if queen anne’s lace can make the journey from weed to agriculture, why can’t dandelions? One way is to roast them….

roasted

Dandelion Roots, Toasted

Note to self: a lower temperature gives a bitter coffee; a higher temperature gives a sweeter one, but don’t go too high, as high temperature toasting of any food is ill-advised.

And a little fun with the coffee grinder gives this…

powdered

Dandelion Root Coffee, Ready to Go

Just add water, wait five minutes, and … oh, isn’t that nice.

Actually, it tastes better than coffee. Not a secret, I guess. The neighbours have been in on it for a long time …

beetlelion

Beetle Waiting for a Cuppa

Why is it that humans are always the last to know?

The great thing is that you don’t have to go down to Starbucks and buying it for a kazillion kronur a pound, but can pick it up most anywhere and slip it into the oven as it cools after you’ve cooked your dinner. Why, just the other day I found some just along the side of the road …

starb2

Oops, Not That One.

Ah, this is better…

P1150181

Oh, Shoot!

Why is it that people put cigarette butts into their cold coffee? Isn’t that, like, gross?

Ah, this is better…

P1150179

Dandelion Keeping Its Coffee All to Itself

If this plant were harvested and kept cool, it could be encouraged to produce fresh spring salad in the middle of January, when the coyotes were nipping the frost off of their feet outside and the deer were making clouds with their breath. I mean, if you don’t want coffee.

As for the danes, here’s another weed that they used to use to stretch their precious wartime coffee yet further…

P1330616

Chicory

Notice how little respect it has for the military technology of barbed wire fences.

Same as dandelions: it grows everywhere; just dig it up, roast the roots, grind, and you have food security. The alternative, of course, is this:

security

University of British Columbia Okanagan Administration Building

Instead of an agricultural university, we have been gifted one on the golf course model. Note the very secure golf club carrying rack on the back of this scooting-around vehicle. Note. too, the heavily fertilized weed-free lawn in the background, just right for the 8th hole. Easy does it. No wild swinging and thrashing. You wouldn’t want to break any glass. Oh, wait. They’ve taken care of that. Notice all the nice golf ball proof brick. 

Did you notice the revolution brewing, as they always seem to do on university campuses, despite the best attempts of administration to stamp them out? Here’s a closer view:

close

The Revolution Begins

Like I said, why is it that humans are always the last to know?

Beats me.

gswb

Green Sweat Bee

Just gathering some chicory pollen at the side of the road. Twelve hours before the humans came with a mower and did what the danes knew better than to do.

3 replies »

  1. We grew up with Chicory Coffee in England after the war. It was liquid (in a bottle) and we all got so that we preferred it. I note the barbed wire snuck in again.

    Like

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