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For years I have heard about the benefits of all the ‘backyard weeds’ that can be harvested for medicinal purposes. I never really took it all that seriously or even gave it much thought to be honest. This past Spring, I decided I wanted to take a shot at learning what ‘weeds’ I had growing in my yard. I downloaded a few apps, and utilized a few plant Identification websites.

Some plants are very obvious and cannot be easily mistaken, so I jumped in and decided I would take on one at a time. During the course of learning about purslane, plantain, violets and violets, I realized that I was also completely overrun by dandelions. Come to find out, what most homeowners think of as an invasive weed is actually completely edible from root to leaves.

I found myself scouring my yard looking for the very best specimens I could find -digging it up by the roots. I tried the leaves. I will be honest here. Not very tasty to me. The root however surprised me very much. I was a little nervous at first. Triple checking to make sure I was indeed correct, then dived in. My husband thought I was a bit nutty. I diced the roots really tiny and Ryder roasted them in an iron skillet until they were nice and toasted then after cooking for a few minutes, tossed them into my coffee grinder to make a nice ‘coffee’ of them. Next I brewed it just like I would coffee.

Apparently in many places the root has been used as a caffeine free coffee substitute. So my husband and myself were now my guinea pigs. What s shock! Sweet and nutty. This was honestly the best cup of herbal brew I think I have ever had. Hubby actually liked it too! Off I went back to the yard to search for some specimens that were large enough to have good roots! I can’t wait for next Spring!

-Cindy Edmonson

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