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  • Clarke Wallace

PRAISE THAT LITTLE FLOWER

How often in my weekly column (blog) do I mention something that interests me? And later read about it in more detail somewhere else. Not that I had anything to do with the latter.

Several weeks ago I came out strong in favor of the dandelion. Not only does it give us a bright color after a dull winter, I wrote, but it can be nourishing too. And low and behold what appeared a week ago in the weekend edition of the Toronto Star? An illustrated feature by writer Thelma Fayle.


Under the headline I AM A DANDELION, HEAR ME ROAR, Ms. Fayle told we readers what we consider to be the bothersome weed is actually a remarkable plant’.


That’s right up my alley. Once when living and writing in France’s Dordogne region, newly-made French friends would invite me for dinner. Or more likely a ‘noon’ lunch/dinner: the big meal of the day. What was often on the menu? Dandelion salad. Or ‘salade de pissenlit’. as in ‘pee your bed’.


Ms. Fayle writes, “The cheery plant captures the imagination, but before long, [became]a menacing and sinister North American notion that dandelions are invasive and should be destroyed.”


She tells us how for centuries it was known as the official remedy for disorders. Good because it’s full of iron, calcium, vitamin C and folic acid. They contain 25 times more vitamin A than tomato juice.


I like this line in her feature article: “For centuries, parents around the world welcomed leafy spring dandelion crowns as healthy greens for the family.”


Author’s comment: Ms. Fayle tells us how the dark green leaves become emerald specks when chopped into her morning oatmeal. Another favorite: peanut butter and dandelion sandwiches. Dandelion muffins. And how the dandelion became known for being there, when you’re under the weather.

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