TALES FROM THE GRUMPY GARDENER #3: There’s Nothing Dandy about Dandelionss

There’s Nothing Dandy about Dandelions

There is nothing dandy about dandelions.AAAAdandelion#1

Absolutely nothing!

Those little yellow topped intruders somehow, someway continually find their way to repopulate Grumpy’s lawn every spring. Any space, however small, infertile or barren will act as a likely and inviting host for this most evasive of all plants.

Grumpy blames his ancestors for the importation of this pesky pest. Even though dandelions are thought to have evolved about thirty million years ago in Eurasia they were only introduced to North America by early European immigrants.


You mean our ancestors weren’t just happy to find tobacco, beavers and maple syrup? They needed to INTRODUCE dandelions thirty million years after the fact?

You see the word dandelion morphed its way into English from an Old French term translating as “lion’s tooth,” a description of its somewhat pointed leaves. However, in vernacular French, the word for dandelion is actually pissenlit, which means “pee in the bed,” a graphic description of the plant’s diuretic quality.

Grumpy wishes dandelions would just “Piss off!” because that’s exactly how he feels (Pissed) when he sees a carpet of yellow spreading across his lawn.

In Ontario we can no longer purchase a quality herbicide to eradicate this nuisance. In years past – one easy spraying – and those little dandies would wilt into little bundles of under-the-foot crispy crunch.

Now, everywhere he goes the store shelves are stocked with that Weed B-Gone stuff (no other alternatives present) which for Grumpy has only become a “Money B-Gone” proposition. He’s dropped $60 on that stuff with little or no results. Grumpy actually heard those little lions chuckling and chortling as he showered them down with a fervent cry of, “Begone with you foul and noxious weeds!”

In response they chant, “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, we smell the blood of someone dumb”.

The last big box store Grumpy visited had two huge pallets of that “B-Gone”  stuff sitting right beside the checkouts.


The next thing you know that big box flyer will include a full page ad for the sale of the freaking Brooklyn Bridge.

AAAAdandelion#2This spring Grumpy has seen dandelions filling in space as if they are about to take over the world. Parks, farm fields, school yards and pristine lawns are being totally and completely encroached by this yellow menace. This morning at his local Timmies Grumpy spied a long boulevard completely infested with dandelions – the grass was completely gonzo.

And, the worst of it all, as these little pests go to seed, you can watch those fluffy bundles blowing in the wind. This is not the “answer” Bob Dylan envisioned nor is it something the guy next door will compliment you for. This is “dandy-geddon” on an enormous scale.

Oh, Grumpy fondly remembers dandelions in his misspent youth. You know rubbing the yellow on his arms as war paint, blowing the fluffy seeds off the flower, popping the heads of with his thumb and projecting them at his target in “dandelion” battles and imaginary skirmishes. He also remembers holding the flower under another friend’s chin to see if the yellow reflected there thus revealing that the friend had a girlfriend.  Of course, turning the stems into interlinked loops made cool bracelets and necklaces. Some of Grumpy’s friends never had girlfriends – ever.

But that was then and this is now. Grumpy is a freaking senior citizen with attitude. He is ENTITLED to a weed free lawn.

Seriously folks, Grumpy has enough of these little pests in his lawn to consider turning Grumpy Villa into a dandelion farm. Forget about horticulture, Grumpy could get into “pissenculture” – the commercial production of dandelions.

Really this isn’t a bad idea given the medicinal qualities of this noxious weed.

QUOTE: “While consuming dandelions probably won’t make you wet the bed, the plant does contain minerals and vitamins that affect the human body’s processes – specifically digestion, urine production, and liver detoxification. The plant is high in iron, beta carotene, potassium, and vitamins A and E. Because the dandelion root runs so deep, sometimes two feet into the ground, it acts like a well, bringing up substances that its neighboring plants are not capable of mining.”

Recently, the dandelion has been touted as a cancer preventing food. Grumpy, as a service to you – his avid readers, has discovered that every part of the plant is edible.

The French make a delightful salad of dandelion leaves tossed with bacon and croutons in vinaigrette and flavoured with chopped herbs such as borage, parsley, garlic and chives. They call this delicacy ‘salade de pissenlit’.

And, of course, everyone has heard of Dandelion Wine. Grumpy does consider himself somewhat of a vintner given his taste for wine and his frequent consumption of the product. Maybe dandelion beer is a possibility?

Now that’s a EUREKA MOMENT!

Now, Grumpy is a little long in the tooth and doesn’t have the financing to put his idea together, but he offers this tremendous opportunity to you, as your friend, financial advisor and mentor. He’ll sell you his idea for the reasonable franchise fee of $10.

NOTE: Grumpy has cobbled together these ideas from Amish Country where every year there is the Breitenbach Dandelion Festival.

So here goes. Given that dandelions are taking over the world it is time to capitalize on this “GOLDEN” opportunity. Harvest your crop of dandelions and open a restaurant business called – THE DANDY LION BISTRO.


Your marketing tagline will bring in the customers in droves, “Come to the Dandy Lion. We serve the finest weed in Canada!”

Your signature product would be “craft” prepared dandelion wine and dandelion beer, all made to compliment your dandelion epicurean feast.

(Check out dandelion PISTIL beer here: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/96/80412/?sort=serv&servT=1&start=0)

The Breitenbach Annual Dandelion Festival has a gourmet feed that has the following six course meal on the menu. Design your menu around this example.

1st Course: Seared Scallop & Shrimp with a Dandelions & Dry Riesling Wine puree

2nd Course: Soup-Dandelion Blossom Bisque

3rd Course: Dandelion & Squash Ravioli with a Dandy Wine & Sage Brown Butter Sauce

4th Course: Dandelion & Pancetta Stuffed Beef Tenderloin topped with Shiraz & Port Pepper Sauce

5th Course: Goat Cheese & Dandelion Mixed Salad topped with Dandelion Croutons & Café Rosé   Vinaigrette

6th Course: Dandelion Couché (Solara Cream Sherry soaked Almond Sponge Cake layered a with Dandelion & Pistachio Mousse and topped with Dark Chocolate)

Each course is served with a different carefully chosen wine or beer. This sounds pretty yummy, eh?

Grumpy’s package franchise deal includes the shipment of all of Grumpys dandelions to you. He guarantees a regular supply given his propensity for “pissenculture”.

So, if you decide to take up the challenge drop Grumpy a line and let him know how it’s working out. In the meantime Grumpy will initiate his own eradication strategy by popping those little buggers out of the ground one “weed” at a time. He’s going to call his stoop and pluck method, using the mysterious tool he invented the, “Handy-Dandy Jim-Dandy”. Sooner or later you might just find Grumpy’s little weed popper-implement in your local big box store. And guess what? You’ll find it right beside those huge pallets of you-know-what but at a quarter of the price.

Grumpy feels that his latest invention and his franchises will rival sales of the “Hoola-Hoop” and the “Super-Duper-Pooper-Scooper”. He just won’t go to the “Lion’s Den” for financing, given that those dudes have a direct connection and relationship with the notorious Mr. Dandy.

In the meantime, as part of your franchise package, Grumpy directs you to these sites for more ideas and recipes.

Stay classy!












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