Thursday, May 13, 2010

Basketry and Dandelions

Dear Friends,

Happy day! We finally "took the plunge" and made our first baskets ever :) ! We used the tutorial from this blog that "Garden Mama" pointed out to us on her lovely blog. AnnaMarie and I used the trimmings from our little pussy willows we had lying around; needless to say, it didn't work as well as nice, little weeping willow branches would have been, but hey, it's a start!

Then we decided to get out the basket-making kit that I had bought at a thrift store a couple of years ago, and Audrey and I tackled that one. Hopefully we'll get lots better with practice ;) . Making things that are useful and beautiful is such a good feeling, and so is being able to cross something off our "Things We'd Like to Learn to Do" list!

Tasha didn't get a chance to make a basket, but she did make this beautiful fairy house for our little winged friends~

We have been feasting on dandelions lately, since they are so abundant this year. So far, we've made dandelion root "coffee" (which is VERY good), pesto from leaves and blossoms (one really good, and one not so good), dandelion "beer" (it went bad), dandelion pancakes using the whole blossoms (not well-received), and cornmeal dandelion blossoms muffins using blossoms we had run through the blender first (very well-received and mild-flavored). Oh yes, and in our salads and "green smoothies", of course! We keep asking ourselves why we didn't feast on them before!

I was so inspired, I wrote a silly song about dandelions (which I may or may not add to) for your enjoyment~


(To the tune of Barbara Allen)

There is a plant that we all know,
It grows near every dwellin'.
It is truly Nature's pot of gold;
Its name is dandelion.

Now here is something you can use
For food, and drink, and medicine;
It keeps your liver nice and clean,
And helps keep folks from dyin'.

~M. Graham

Dandelions really ARE a pot of gold! After learning of all its health benefits, we are dumb-founded that it has become a hated "weed".

Here is a list of ailments that dandelion aids, according to the book "Herbally Yours" by Penny C. Royal:

Age Spots
Blood Purifier
Gall Bladder
Gall Stones
Low Blood Pressure
Skin Diseases

Isn't that truly amazing? I hope that you are lucky enough to have a patch of poison-free dandelions growing somewhere near you, so that you can take advantage of this wonderful, free gift, too!




  1. I love the baskets, I have that on my "want to do learn" list as well.

    The fairy homes were adorable! We have gigantic mushrooms and I have always told the kids that those are fairy houses. Now at 13 and almost 16 they just roll their eyes at me when I say that.But it was cute when they actually believed me and I have fond memories of those times.

    Dandalion tea I drink lots of, I love it. Add to your list water retention and PMS helps greatly with both those. When I feel the heat of the summer or something I ate swelling my toes or fingers I drink this and it goes away. But I try to drink some everyday along with lots of water.Flushes your system out.

    Have a blessed day!

  2. I love your baskets, Marqueta! As I was cleaning my bedroom this morning, I *unearthed* (sheepish grin) a little basket that a friend of mine made several years ago. She made it from small madrona and green alder limbs for the form and wove some wild blackberry vines through that. (I remember she told me that she used heavy gloves to strip off the leaves and thorns.) There is another light colored vine (perhaps wild honeysuckle?) for a light colored stripe. I was thinking about how to make one. I am so glad you shared the tutorial pointed out by Garden Mama. I will head over there to check it out!

    Dandelions?! I don't think I am brave enough to try anything with them. When we (bros./cousins) were young, some (not me!) forced others (yes, me!) to eat the white sap! Oh, it was so bitter! It has *put me off* dandelions as edibles! :~\
    Cute song!
    Either "Herbally Yours"s author used a pen name, or some parents had an unfortunate imagination! Penny Royal! Puulleeze!
    Dandelions sure aid many ailments, though, don't they! And little ones always love to pick them for their mamma's and grannies! The best use of all!
    Be Blessed!

  3. i make dandelion jelly every spring. pick the heads, wash well and boil down to make juice. strain through 2 layers of cheese cloth 3 times. i use certo and follow directions on the box. it tast like peach jelly and is a light yellow.

  4. Hello dear friend,

    I am very impressed with the baskets! I think it turned out wonderfully! I am always amazed at the skill that goes into the basket making process.

    Oh and I love the fairy homes. I have always wanted to do this - and hope to once we have a garden. I know my girls would love to make them and be creative that way.

    Wonderful to hear all the benefits of dandelion's. I enjoy hearing all about your discoveries and what you are making!

    Hope you are doing well dear friend and enjoying some nice Spring weather.


  5. Ohh pesto is a good idea xoxox Clarice

  6. The basket you created is lovely Marqueta and I appreciate your love for dandelions! They certainly are abundant in our yard : )

  7. I must tell you, that the first time I tried dandelions was in salad, and I did not know I was eating it :)

    It tasted like arugula. But really, I agree with you, it is delicious and very good for you :)

    Thank you for sharing...


  8. I have to level with you, dear sister: I have never eaten dandelions, and cannot say I know how I would. We do, however, have plenty of them, and I will be uprooting them. Maybe I will show my Mom some of the stuff you've posted on them, and see what she wants to try. It sure would be good to have a remedy for all those ailments, though! I mean, I cannot think of an ailment, that I have encountered, that was not in that list! (Then again, was diabetes in there?)

    Hey! But I do like cracking open appricot seeds and eating the nut inside. Apparently it gives you vitamin B17, which fights cancer (can also do with cherry seeds - I just hope (as does my Mom) I don't break my teeth on those!) (Great Audrey picture).

  9. (The song was great, too! I know it thanks to the "Christ-x Carol" movie. I should share "bath-time religion with you...)

  10. Dearest Marqueta,

    I do agree with you 100% on the beauty of the dandelion! I regularly use them in infusions and salads. Have not made the coffee yet, but you have me inspired to try it! I am sure it would be much better for me than the frappes I've been making! :)

    The fairy house is perfect! We need to make one here, and actually I saw one on a blog that I meant to mark and did not. However will I find it again!! You and the girls would have loved it.

    I am hoping to get your package in the mail tomorrow. I am sorry to be so very slow.

    I love your song. ~:-D


  11. Wow Baskets you all are so brave hehehe!! And what a wonderful skill to learn! I have wanted to try but it looks so difficult....~ I have not yet tried the dandelion coffee but really want to.~ Looks like you are enjoying some wonderful spring harvests ~Blessings Love Heather

  12. Dear Marqueta,
    I love the baskets. I have always wanted
    to weave baskets.
    I love Tasha Tudor's ones.
    Out children also love making fairy houses and it really does require lots of imagination too.
    Our children just had to say how much your cat looks like our kitten Cupcake.
    Is there any news about jobs and houses for you yet?
    A very beautiful poem too.


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