I've written before about how important it is to me that my girls learn about the natural world around them. And even in this urban setting, there are wild plants in our neighborhood that we can eat--one of them being dandelion greens. I carried a basket around the block and the kids raced about pulling up dandelions left and right. This is a fantastic plant for urban foraging because the plant is so clearly identifiable, even to small children.
We hunted for dandelions last year when we had a dandelion-themed playgroup, but we merely tasted a leaf or two dipped in some vinaigrette. This year I had more serious plans:
The girls picked a huge basket full of dandelions (mixed with grass, sticks, and other goodies that I had the pleasure of picking through...) After a couple of good washings in the salad spinner, they looked sparkling and delicious:
Dandelion greens mingling with romaine lettuce, walnuts, grated carrots, and our ever-so-precious unsweetened dried cranberries, usually reserved (and used sparingly) for things like homemade granola:
Green salad just so happens to be on both of the chicks' "will-eat" list (this month, anyway), so they were both able to eat the fruits of their labor.
We also foraged some moss from the community garden where it was growing on the beds, destined to be turned into the soil as we prepared them for planting. We salvaged a bucketful and brought it home for our fairy garden, a project that I think I'm even more excited about than the chicks are.
Don't you love moss? I do. I think I'm a little infatuated with it, this year especially. I have big plans for it.