Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cornfield in Dandelions


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: This field of dandelions by Angevine Farm was so dazzling I stopped my car and went back to catch these shots before continuing to my destination. By the time I passed this way in the afternoon, the farmer was on his tractor, turning the soil to prepare the way for the new corn crop.

COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD: The dandelion: a wild and feral plant with a long, fleshy root; an apomictic home wrecker that flaunts its shameless yellow flowers then spews its seed to sully every honest lawn. The teeth of the lion also make their way under the pseudonyms, "monk's head," "priest's crown," and "blowball."

The following is quoted from the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticide web page:

"Dandelions can be beneficial to a garden ecosystem as well as to human health. Dandelions attract beneficial ladybugs and provide early spring pollen for their food. In a study done at the University of Wisconsin, experimental plots with dandelions had more ladybugs than dandelion free plots, and fewer pest aphids, a favorite food of the ladybugs. Dandelions long roots aerate the soil and enable the plant to accumulate minerals, which are added to the soil when the plant dies. Not only are dandelions good for your soil, they are good for your health. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a serving of uncooked dandelion leaves contains 280 percent of an adult's daily requirement of beta carotene as well as more than half the requirement of vitamin C. Dandelions are also rich in vitamin A. Dandelions are also used as herbal remedies. The white sap from the stem and root is used as a topical remedy for warts. The whole plant is used as a diuretic and liver stimulant."