Measuring Nutrient Density

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Brix

We all want to eat the most nutritious food, but… how do you measure food quality for nutrient density?  

 

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 

 


Optical Refractometer

by David Proctor


 June 24, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Our farmers are rewarded for growing the most, not necessarily the best, crops on the lowest budget. 

This allows for cheap food but not always the most nutritious food.
 
Numerous charts show what foods we should try to eat each day. 

But is a tomato from the grocery store the same as a tomato from the local farmer’s market? 

Is organic food more nutrient-dense than what is grown elsewhere and imported?
 
A method has to exist to measure the difference between food besides uniformity and looks.
 
One of the best ways to tell the difference between vegetables and fruit is by taste. 

Our taste buds are pretty refined to help us select the best food. 

Also, the smell is another indicator. 

The touch and feel of the food can also help, but this still may not always give the best results.

Have you ever tried to pick out the best watermelon? 

You thump it and listen. 

A high-pitched thump is not ripe, a hollow thump is ripe. 

How do you tell if other foods are at their peak?

 

Watermelon “thump” test 0:24

 

The Brix movement has evolved as a method for measuring the nutrient density of fruits and vegetables.
 
Brix is a scale based on the amount that light bends when it passes through a liquid or the refraction.

This is done with a refractometer. 
 
How to use an optical refractometer:

  • Squeeze sap out of a plant.
  • Put two drops on the prism.
  • Close the prism cover.
  • Point to a light source.
  • Focus the eyepiece.
  • Read the measurement.
  • Where light and dark fields intersect is the brix number.

 

Refractometer

Refractometer

 

This can be done for whatever part of the plant that you want to eat. 

This will help to measure the solution density.

Winegrowers have been using refractometers as standardized pieces of equipment for many years to test the quality of grapes.

 

Photo by Balázs Burján from Pexels

Photo by Balázs Burján from Pexels

 

The USDA is using the refractometer to test the quality of oranges. 

And recently the brix test is being used to test cranberry juice. 

The ones with the highest brix are paid a premium price.

One of the most important nutrients that increases with a high brix level is calcium.

In addition to increased calcium levels, high brix foods also supply more trace minerals such as copper, iron, and manganese.

Minerals in food are in a naturally chelated form. Naturally chelated minerals are bound to amino acids that have a left-hand spin.

Amino acids with a left-hand spin are referred to as L-Amino acids.  L-Amino acids are biologically active.

This translates into easy assimilation into the body compared to inorganic minerals taken in pill form.”

High brix foods taste better and are more insect and disease-resistant.

 

Monticello

Monticello

 

Taste is built upon the carbohydrate and mineral levels in the produce.

When they decline, so does the taste.

The greatest drawback to using just the brix scale is that it doesn’t distinguish between the various dissolved solids that will affect the refractive index of the liquid.

The best way to get around this drawback is through proper nutrient management.

The brix can be used to measure how crops are doing and the proper adjustment made while they are growing instead of waiting until harvest to see how the crop has turned out.

Using the Brix Chart and a refractometer may not be the most scientific way to measure nutrient density in foods.

Yet, beyond sending food in for a lab test, the refractometer may be a relatively inexpensive tool to test food and crops for consumption.


Check It Out!

 

Refractive Index of Crop Juices


Quick Tip

 

The 11 Most Nutrient Dense Foods on The Planet

  1. Salmon
  2. Kale
  3. Seaweed
  4. Garlic
  5. Shellfish
  6. Potatoes
  7. Liver
  8. Sardines
  9. Blueberries
  10. Egg Yolks
  11. Dark Chocolate (Cocoa)

Bibliography:

 

“Brix.” Brix | Bionutrient Food Association, bionutrient.org/bionutrient-rich-food/brix. 24 June. 2021

Kris Gunnars, BSc. “The 11 Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on the Planet.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 27 Aug. 2018, authoritynutrition.com/11-most-nutrient-dense-foods-on-the-planet/. 24 June. 2021

“What Is Brix?” High Brix Gardens, highbrixgardens.com/what-is-brix.html. 24 June. 2021

“Brix.” Bionutrient Food Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June. 2021.

Capewellmj. “The Brix Movement – Growing For Quality.” The Brix Movement – Growing For Quality. N.p., 24 June. 2021.

Gunnars, Kris. “The 11 Most Nutrient Dense Foods on The Planet.” Authority Nutrition. N.p., 18 Aug. 2016. Web. 24 June. 2021




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , ,

Worm Castings Tea

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Worm Tea

Vermiculture is the raising of worms for use in composting, bait, and the use of their castings for fertilizer.  The castings can be used to make worm tea, or just added directly to your plants as an organic fertilizer.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Vermiculture

by David Proctor


 June 17, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


The most common worm that is purchased from a worm farm or supplier is the red wigglers or Lumbricus rubella.  

These little guys are great for fishing and do wonders for the soil. 

These worms live just under the surface, ingesting soil along with organic matter and leaving tunnels that carry oxygen to the plant roots and improve drainage.

This activity breaks up heavy dirt clods, and the castings keep the soil loose.
 
The key to having worms is to have a place that keeps them happy and comfortable and to feed them.

 

Worms In Worm Bin

Worms In Worm Bin

 

You can build a worm bin or purchase one. 

I started with having a compost pile outside. 

This is where I put the grass clippings, leaves, and kitchen scraps to be made into fertilizer.
 
You can use any wood or plastic container for housing your worms. 

The key is to have one that breathes well. 

Wood boxes tend to allow a constant supply of air, but plastic will work fine as long as holes are drilled for drainage and you stir in air every few days.
 
You can use a storage bin and lid, but I would recommend that you not use the lid but instead place burlap on the top. 

This will diffuse the light, help keep moisture in, and allow a good supply of air.

 

Burlap Canvas Cover

Burlap Canvas Cover

 

If your worm bin is outdoors, keep it in a protected area, out of the hot summer sun or cold rains in the winter.

 

Worm Farm

Worm Farm

 

Vermicompost is the product or process of composting using various worms, usually red wigglerswhite worms, and other earthworms to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast.

Vermicast, also called worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by an earthworm.[1] These castings have been shown to contain reduced levels of contaminants and a higher saturation of nutrients than do organic materials before vermicomposting.[2] (Vermicompost)

 

This is all sounding like a very good path to go.

 

How to make Worm Tea 4:53
BigTexWorms
How to make compost tea using worm castings.

 

Having a worm farm is a win-win. 

They don’t bark, they stay to themselves, your kitchen scraps and grass clipping do not go to the dump, and you will not have an excuse to not go fishing.

 

Fish Just Waiting To Be Caught

Fish Just Waiting To Be Caught


Check It Out!

The Benefits of Using Worm Tea
by Yelm Earthworms and Casting Farm

• Worm Tea will out-perform chemical fertilizer. Increasing both plant size and yield. This is due to interaction of Worm Tea microbes with the soil microbes and protozoa, soil particles and the roots of the plant itself.

• Worm Tea used as an inoculant for potting soil will suppress airborne pathogenic fungi that can readily infect sterile potting medium. The organisms in Worm Tea also produce hormones, vitamins, nutrients, enzymes, amino acids and minerals needed by seedling cuttings and young plants. Inoculation should be done two weeks prior to planting.

• Plants grown in soil treated with Worm Tea are healthier due to the symbiotic relationship between the plant and the microbes in the root zone. Plants feed the microbes and the microbes produce or make available all of the food and medicine the plant needs to thrive.

 Plants grown in soil treated with Worm Tea are more nutritious than plants grown in soil treated with chemical fertilizer. The food value of these plants is increased due to the availability of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and amino acids.

•Worm Tea can remediate soil that has been damaged by agricultural chemicals. With repeated application the microbes will adapt to the soil as well as convert and metabolize organic and inorganic chemicals. They will also sequester heavy metals not required by plants.

• Worm Tea can treat lawns affected with thatch, which is a condition caused by sterility in the underlying soil. Chemicals usually cause sterility. Worm Tea will repopulate the soil with microbes, enrich the roots and break down the thatch turning it into food for the grass.

• Worm Tea applied to the soil improves water retention. Many of the microbes manufacture protective mucus that acts as glue to agglomerate soil particles. Microbial colonies also make a bio-slime that is mostly water and is retained to protect the colony  The water retentive property of healthy soil can be 3-4 times greater than unhealthy soil.

• Worm Tea applied along with insoluble granulated or powdered minerals such as  granite, limestone, rock phosphate, etc will supply 95% of everything the soil needs. The other 5% is organic material applied as mulch or litter on the surface of the soil or as dead root material under the soil surface.

• The microbes in Worm Tea turn organic matter into humus, storing energy for later use. This is the basic unit of soil fertility.

• The microbes in Worm Tea feed other organisms in the soil food chain.  Protozoa and nematodes feed on bacteria and fungi directly while worms ingest bacteria laden soil particles. All life in the soil depends on microbes, directly or indirectly.

• Worm Tea applied as a foliar spray will act as a fertilizer.  Plants will produce more foliage and larger stems.  This is a good treatment for plants that are stressed or lacking enough sun.

• Worm Tea applied to a compost pile will accelerate the breakdown of plant material reducing the amount of time to make compost. It can also be used to re-inoculate the pile after it has gone through its hot phase, which inactivates or kills many of the beneficial microbes. Re-inoculation increases the population of beneficial microbes, which continue to breakdown organic matter and form humus. (Worm)

Taken from http://yelmworms.com/compost-tea/


Quick Tip

 

 1. Do not store the brewed worm tea recipe inside a pet bottle, unless you want the beneficial microbes to die right away.

2. It’s best that you store it inside a container, with a lid that loosely covers it, or without a lid. This is important since the good microorganisms in the worm tea solution needs air. If you fail to do this, your tea may soon smell horrible; and your plants and soil won’t be able to fully appreciate the benefits that come with your worm tea.

3. To sum it all up, you’ll really need to consume it within 24 hours.


Bibliography:

McCreary, Rosemary. Putting Worms to Work and Keeping Them Happy. ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/files/29954.pdf.

“What Is Worm Tea?” Worm Castings & Soils, yelmworms.com/compost-tea/page3.htm#What%20is%20worm%20tea.

“Wormery.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Mar. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormery.




 

Posted in Animal Husbandry, Chickens, fish, Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , ,

Regenerative Ocean Farming

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

3D Ocean Farming

Ocean farming could be the next big thing in aquaculture; improving the water, transforming workers from fisheries into restoring our waters and fueling our country, feeding our nation, and fighting climate change.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


3D Vertical Ocean Farming

by David Proctor


 June 10, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Author Emily Gertz,
“Bren Smith wants to create thousands of decent jobs, transform how we harvest food from the oceans, and blunt the effects of climate change and marine degradation — all at the same time. His big idea: small-scale marine farms.

As a fisherman in Newfoundland, Bren Smith (TEDxBermuda Talk: The least deadliest catch) saw his livelihood vanish when the Atlantic seaboard’s cod stocks collapsed in the 1990s after years of overfishing. He managed to make a successful transition into shellfish farming in the Long Island Sound — until he was all but ruined again when powerful hurricanes demolished his oyster crops two years in a row. “What I realized then was, this isn’t a slow lobster boil of climate change,” Smith says. “We’re on the front lines of a crisis.”

Traditional methods of fishing or aquaculture won’t work under current conditions — we need a 21st-century strategy. Like other oyster farmers, Smith had raised his shellfish in cages on the seafloor. However, Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012 both kicked up massive amounts of marine sediment that smothered 90 percent of his harvest.

He realized he had to diversify his farming and raise multiple marine species including seaweeds, for which he knew there was a rising demand. With no experience in sea greens, Smith tapped the expertise of the University of Connecticut marine scientist Charles Yarish. Yarish has researched seaweeds for decades and advocates cultivating them for food as well as for ocean remediation.

But raising different crops wasn’t enough — Smith had to re-design ocean farming, too. He wondered: What if we could take a vertical approach to aquaculture? He calls his technique “3D ocean farming.” It consists of horizontal ropes on the water’s surface, anchored to hurricane-proof floats, that connect to lines underwater supporting seaweed crops and interspersed with hanging net enclosures to grow scallops and mussels.

Clam and oyster cages, also connected to the surface ropes, sit on the seafloor. This kind of farm is barely visible from the shore, Smith notes. His Thimble Island Ocean Farm, which occupies 40 acres of the Long Island Sound, raises two types of seaweed, mussels, oysters, and scallops. The farm provides significant non-edible benefits as well: it serves as a storm-surge protector and as a habitat for marine wildlife.”

 

3D Vertical Ocean Farming

3D Vertical Ocean Farming

 

“Seaweed farming can offset some of the serious problems facing the oceans. Unlike land-based crops, seaweed is what Smith calls “zero-input food” — it requires no additional freshwater, fertilizer, pesticides, feed or soil to grow. It receives everything it needs from the sun and the sea.

It grows super-fast — sugar kelp, one of the varieties farmed by Smith, can grow an inch or more a day. Seaweed improves the marine environment by absorbing dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus, two pollutants that wind up in the ocean via agricultural runoff, and carbon dioxide, which drives ocean acidification and global warming. (Oysters are another good nitrogen remover.) Packed with protein, vitamin C, and calcium, seaweed is a nutritious addition to human diets. Finally, it can be used as a potent soil fertilizer and as animal feed.

A new kind of aquaculture needs a new workforce. In 2013, Smith established the nonprofit organization GreenWave to train new seaweed farmers and provide them with two years of support. (The 3D ocean farming model itself is open-source — anyone can use or build on it for free.) With about $30,000, a boat and a lease (which requires approvals from state regulators and the US Army Corps of Engineers) to farm 20 acres of near-shore seafloor, anyone can start a 3D ocean farm that produces 10 to 30 tons of kelp and 250,000 shellfish per acre in five months, according to Smith.

GreenWave also supports research and development of consumer and industrial products derived from seaweed and collaborates with chefs to create appealing kelp dishes. Humans currently consume just a fraction of the 10,000 edible marine plants, points out Smith, so the potential for discovering new crops and flavors is huge.

Smith has also set up a parallel for-profit enterprise, which provides a market for seaweed crops and operates a commercial processing and distribution facility in New Haven, Connecticut. It promises to purchase 80 percent of seaweed harvests at triple the market rate from GreenWave farmers during their first five years in business. “Farmers know they can sell what they grow,” Smith says, “and that’s a real incentive to start farms.” Someday, he imagines, we could have a thriving surf-and-turf economy made up of many small seaweed-and-shellfish farms along the coasts that drive land-based employment.

 

ocean-wave-1656579

Ocean Wave

 

Smith’s vision for ocean farming is spreading. So far, GreenWave’s program has resulted in 10 people who are tending seaweed farms, with another 25 in training. In 2015, GreenWave’s 3D ocean farming model won the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Fuller Challenge, an ecological design prize that recognizes innovative and comprehensive approaches to solving the problems created by marine degradation and climate change.

Smith is now preparing to pilot the 3D ocean farming method in the United Kingdom. “I thought it was going to take me 20 years to develop the market on this, and actually the real challenging thing has been building the infrastructure,” he says. “We need more farms. We have standing orders for about 500,000 pounds of kelp a year, and we can’t meet them all.” ”

Being on the east coast, this article caught my eye.  It makes you wonder about how this simple restorative means of aquaculture could really transform our agriculture.


Check It Out!

 

 

Vertical ocean farming – the least deadliest catch | Bren Smith | TEDxBermuda  15:18


Quick Tip

 

Regenerative Ocean Farming


Bibliography:

Gertz, Emily. “Vertical Ocean Farms That Can Feed Us and Help Our Seas.” Ideas.ted.com, Ideas.ted.com, 10 June 2021, ideas.ted.com/vertical-ocean-farms-that-can-feed-us-and-help-our-seas/.

https://www.greenwave.org/our-model




 

Posted in Animal Husbandry, fish, Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: ,

Food Waste Reduction

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

$ To Reduce Waste

The USDA announces $2 million available in cooperative agreements for community compost and food waste reduction.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Community Compost

by David Proctor


 June 3, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


This article is for your information and is also an opportunity to help your community if you have ideas about composting food waste that otherwise would end up in the landfill.

If I were going to participate in a project like this, I would look at how one could acquire the organic material needed for composting first.

Educating a select part of the community and or businesses to utilize a source separation of food items from their waste collection.

Once the food items are in a separate container, then a designated time for collection can be scheduled.

These food items can be macerated into a type of paste or sludge then placed in anaerobic digesters.

Anaerobic digesters will kill harmful pathogens and any fly or insect larva.

Once through the anaerobic digesters, then the contents can be used for worm farm feed.

The worms will turn the contents into a much higher quality compost through aerobic composting and their digestion.

The end product of worm castings and compost can then be made available to local community gardeners and local organic farmers.

This is a very rudimentary outline of my thoughts to help reduce food waste.

These ideas can be made actionable with funding from this type of program and will work with the correct implementation.

I would enjoy hearing other ideas!

If interested, this is the announcement by the USDA:

 

Food Waste

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of up to $2 million for local governments to host Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2021. The cooperative agreements support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans and they are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture.

USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (Office) will accept applications on Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 16, 2021. Projects should span two years with a start date of September 25, 2021 and completion date of September 25, 2023.

“Finding ways to turn food waste into nutrient rich compost is a win-win for farmers, communities and the environment,” Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Gloria Montaño Greene said. “The level of enthusiasm and creativity communities are putting towards this kind of problem solving is inspiring, and USDA is proud to support it.”

Details
Cooperative agreements support projects led by local governments that:

  • Generate compost.
  • Increase access to compost for agricultural producers.
  • Reduce reliance on and limit the use of fertilizer.
  • Improve soil quality.
  • Encourage waste management and permaculture business development.
  • Increase rainwater absorption.
  • Reduce municipal food waste.
  • Divert food waste from landfills.

Priority will be given to projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts and collaborate with multiple partners.
This is the second year the Office has offered this funding opportunity. Examples of previously-selected projects include:

  • Department of Sanitation of New York and nonprofit Big Reuse are establishing food scrap drop-off locations while New York City Parks Department is diverting wood chips and leaves from landfill disposal to create compost. GreenThumb, Brooklyn Grange, Hellgate Farms, Gowanus Canal Conservancy and other urban farms are distributing the compost for food production in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, diverting approximately 600,000 pounds of food scraps and green waste from landfills and providing 350 cubic yards of compost to food producers.

The City of Prescott, Arizona is collaborating with the farmers’ market, volunteers, restaurants, Yavapai County Cooperative Extension and Prescott College to design, build and implement the Prescott Community Compost Program. The program educates the community about composting, reduces food waste by collecting and composting restaurant food scraps and provides high-quality compost to gardeners and farmers in Central Yavapai County, creating approximately 28 tons of compost over the two-year program.
 
Cooperative Agreements

  • USDA is announcing the second year of funding opportunities for cooperative agreements that support the growing urban agriculture movement and reduce food waste. 
  • Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) cooperative agreements will award $2 million for pilot projects that develop and implement strategies for municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. 
  • Local governments may submit projects that:
    • Generate compost;
    • Provide access to compost to farmers;
    • Reduce fertilizer use;
    • Improve soil quality;
    • Encourage waste management and permaculture business development;
    • Increase rainwater absorption;
    • Reduce municipal food waste; and
    • Divert food waste from landfills.  
  • NRCS will assist on conservation related activities. 
  • Priority will be given to projects that include economic benefits; provide compost to farmers; integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery; and collaborate with multiple partners. 
  • The deadline for applications is July 16, 2021.
  • Last year’s awards included $1.09 million for 13 pilot Cooperative agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) Projects.  
  • The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production was established by the 2018 Farm Bill to institutionalize support for urban agriculture. 
  • So far, the office has: 
    • Accepted nominations for a new, 12-person Secretarial federal advisory committee on urban agriculture;
    • Set up pilot FSA county committees focused on urban agriculture; 
    • Awarded its first cycle of grants and cooperative agreements. 

 
 
Here is an example of how to calculate the match requirement. If the total project budget is $90,000 thousand dollars, the applicant would request $67,500 in USDA funds which is 75% of the budget in their application. They must provide a match amount of $22,500 which is 25% of the budget. It’s important to remember the minimum award amount for pilot project is $45,000 and maximum is $90,000. Your requested project budget should request funds from USDA within this range.
 
What types of matches will be accepted? Matching may be achieved by contribution of cash, supplies, services, third-party in-kind contributions or in combination from sources other than funds provided through the grant. Cash can be a recipient’s cash outlay, or cash donation with non-Federal third parties or non-Federal grants. In-kind can be the value of non-cash contributions typically in the form of personnel, goods, and services. Volunteer services provided by third-party professionals including technical personnel, consultants, and others skilled and unskilled labor can be counted as cost sharing or matching if the service is an integral and necessary part of project activities.

Community Garden


Check It Out!

 

 

THE WASTE BETWEEN OUR EARS

Interconnectness – book launch 1:44
Gerry Gillespie
The Waste Between Our Ears


Quick Tip

 

The key to large-scale composting is having source separation of materials.

When waste is combined then compacted, it is extremely hard to separate the different waste components.


Bibliography:

Gillespie, Gerry. The Waste between Our Ears: Protecting Our Environment and Improving Our Soils with Source Separation. Acres U.S.A., 2020.




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: ,

Dandelion

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Friend or Foe

When I was growing up, one of the rights of spring, was to take the dandelion tool and dig up as many dandelions as I could in our yard. No self-respecting yard owner would let them flourish.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Dandelions

by David Proctor


 May 27, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Dandelions have often been considered a weed and should be removed, but why is that?

I don’t know of too many people that concentrate on having a nice-looking lawn, enjoy seeing dandelions in their yard.

What do dandelions indicate about your soil?

  • Compaction
  • Calcium deficiency
  • High Acid Levels
  • Abundance of Shade

Ironically dandelions are actually good for your lawn.  

 

viridi-green-i-uBAOo_BBA-unsplash

 

Their root system spreads out wide and helps reduce compaction of the soil in the yard.

The taproot grows deep and helps bring up minerals such as calcium and makes them available to other plants.

Dandelions actually help fertilize the grass!

Large industries have developed around getting rid of this “weed”.

Most lawn care companies will have some type of dandelion “Destroyer” in the mix that is applied to the yard.

Dandelions have been used to provide health benefits for those that choose to not try and eliminate the plant.

The entire plant is edible and can be used in salads and greens.

In Chinese and Native American medicine, dandelion root has been used to help treat stomach and liver conditions.

Herbalists have used the plant as a diuretic to help treat high blood pressure, heart failure, liver, and kidney disease.

Dried dandelion can be ground into a powder and mixed with water to create a paste for skin rashes, acne, and boils.

The dandelion root is believed to have anti-diabetic properties by helping the gut biome.

Some will use it as a tonic to help cleanse the liver by inactivating the primary cells in fibrosis and allowing the liver to heal.

Since dandelions bloom early in the spring, they are very important for pollinators.

And don’t forget dandelion wine.

If this doesn’t convince you to leave the dandelions and let them do their work, other methods are available to get rid of the plant.

If you use chemicals like roundup, please be very careful and defiantly do not consume the plant or use it for any medicinal purposes.

Probably the best and safest way to get rid of dandelions is to dig them up with a pronged tool.

Timing is everything, if they flower then the wind will spread the seeds or your little one may just enjoy blowing the seeds from the head of the plant.

 

Photo by Nita from Pexels nita-5400

 

As the dandelion does its job in the yard, you will find that over time the plant will become less abundant and eventually will hardly see any in your yard.

Be sure when you mow to not use a grass catcher since the leaf and plant stem have an abundance of calcium for your yard that will be available when decomposed.

Myself, I never did mind dandelions in the yard.

You can have a yard that is full of weeds and it will look great when mowed and will be more drought-resistant.

Sit back and enjoy your dandelion wine!


Check It Out!

 

The secret physics of dandelion seeds 2:19
Oct 17, 2018


Quick Tip

 

Dandelion Tea


Bibliography:

 

Wong, Cathy. “Why Do People Take Dandelion Root for Their Health?” Verywell Health, 24 June 2020, www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-dandelion-root-89103.




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants, Recipes Tagged with:

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