Moving swiftly from the snow to the season of lambs and now dandelions. In my back garden, which backs on to a biodynamic farm the dandelions are everywhere, a wonderful weed, which I can appreciate for their colour, their strength (I have seen them grow through tarmac in a matter of days) and their adaptability. A dandelion is a dandelion and is easily identified in many different environments, but also they reflect their environment in their leaves, stems and buds. So there they are, weeds that are working to break up our compact soil.
But today I wanted to write about collecting dandelions for the biodynamic preparations. One of the compost preparations needs dandelion flowers, collected at just the right moment, at the peak of flowering, all yellow with no seeds. This sounds easy, but in actual fact I have spent some time sorting dandelion flowers to ensure that they were right for the prep.
There is an easier way. Timothy Brink, a biodynamic farmer and inspector told me in an interview – it is really quite simple. Pick your place, with plenty of dandelions, then mow/top etc. Wait three to five days and there you have it, all the dandelions that are in bloom are in peak condition.
Simple and practical. Not without attention, just understanding the patterns of nature and working with them. Now that is brilliant biodynamics.
Just one tip from one farmer. There is a whole body of practical knowledge out there, we try to bring you some in small doses, there will be more. But for now, perhaps you will see the dandelions in all their glory and think of the preparations.