Friday, September 24, 2010

Dandelions and Asters

Wild Plants And Wooly Bears

Soon, the first frost will change our landscape dramatically. But the change won’t just be visual. Plenty of other subtle shifts will occur as a result of freezing temperatures. Among these, dandelions will lose their bitterness. Foragers can then go out, dig the crowns and leaves and have a last fling, as it were, with wild potherbs.

Even better, dandelions appear much larger now than at the same time last year, understandable, given that our season has kept from two to three weeks ahead of itself.

At my place, dandelions grow along the edge of my gravel driveway. Here, I dig them every spring and by fall, new, young plants take their place. Leaving most of the root in place when digging guarantees is all it takes to maintain the crop.

On a melancholy note, a killing frost will signal an end to the incredible flush of color from New England asters. These violet – pink wildflowers were much in evidence this year, more so than in previous seasons.

So go, dig dandelions. Pick a bouquet of asters. And enjoy the glorious fall.

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