DANDELION (Taraxacum officinale), "Dente di Leon" is the Italian heirloom dandelion, not the chicory that is often sold as dandelion. This is the same green my Italian Grandmother used every Spring to make her delicious Frite Verde omelette. It is a bitter/sweet flavor. Pick young before it blooms. 30-50 days. 50 Seeds.
MEDICINAL: The reason my Grandmother had this tradition (and generations before her) is that Dandelion is a wonderful spring tonic, helping to cleanse toxins from the system. In any of its forms and uses, it has a stimulating effect on the whole digestive system, liver and kidney functions and will move your bowels gently.
DYERS: Dandelion root turns wool magenta with alum mordant; purple with tin and vinegar; and yellow without mordant. The flowers also yield a yellow dye.
GROWING TIPS: Easy to grow, but can take 60 days or longer to germinate, and seeds won't all germinate at the same time. Plant as soon as ground can be worked and harvest the young leaves for culinary use. Older leaves are too bitter to be edible. Let your older plants mature through at least one-two growing cycles and harvest the long thick taproots in the fall for either for medicinal purposes or to roast, grind and add to your coffee or brew on its own. The flowers make a "wine", really more like a liquor (see recipe below).
DANDELION WINE: Pour a gallon of boiling water over a gallon of the flowers. Stir well and cover with a blanket and let stand 3 days, stirring occasionally when you think about it. Strain and boil the liquid 30 minutes adding 3 1/2 lb. of loaf sugar, a sliced ginger, grated orange rind and sliced lemon. When cold, put a little yeast on a piece of toast and add to the brew. This will cause the necessary fermentation. When it has stopped "working" (usually after about two days) put in a cask for two months and then bottle. The resulting liquor is an excellent tonic, extremely good for the blood.
CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM GARDEN SEEDS & PLANTS is a small family supplier of heirloom seeds. Our vegetables, herbs, flowers & other garden ornamentals are offered in small, inexpensive packets with only identifying information on them (no growing information). We do, however, offer as much growing information as we have available within this listing for each variety, so if you need it please print now because when a variety sells out the listing will disappear from our site.
All seeds offered are FRESH stock, with high germination rates, tested by the growers and myself. Varieties are specially selected for home gardeners. If you want the flavor you remember from grandma's kitchen garden or the beauty of her cottage flowers, or if you are seeking that rare medicinal herb or ornamental but don't want to pay nursery prices, choose CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM SEEDS.
All CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are heirlooms (dating at least 100 years) or vintage (mid-20th Century or older) varieties, with an occasional modern variety included which I believe merits special attention. All CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are OPEN-POLLINATED. This means saved seed will be true to the parent. Don't be dazzled by the never-ending array of hybrid seeds promoted by gardening suppliers. First, such seeds will not produce seeds that grow true to the parent -- you have to keep buying the hybrid seed (get the picture?). Second, most hybrids are developed for market – not home -- growers with an emphasis on extended shelf life, storage and shipping qualities -- NOT flavor, texture, fragrance and all those other elements that home growers seek. So if you are tired of flavorless tomatoes or crunchy strawberries, give heirlooms a try.
All CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM SEEDS come from reputable growers (with a preference given to small independent farms) and wherever possible ORGANIC suppliers (so noted). We do not knowingly offer any genetically modified seeds, and customers should understand that in order to be designated “certified organic” a seed is by law not genetically modified. By buying CHERRYGAL SEEDS you are supporting the growing worldwide movement of SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE and with a little practice you will be able to save even more money in the future by growing these open-pollinated varieties and saving seed for next year (and sharing with your neighbors).
With the massive consolidation of seed companies that has been underway for the past decade, it is more important than ever to support small, independent suppliers such as CherryGal. Often linked with chemical companies, and fervent in their promotion of frankenseeds (GMO), a handful of world-wide corporations now control seed production. Such companies do not care about the environment let alone the consumer. Click here for an informative graphic.http://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/seedindustry.pdf
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ: CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are guaranteed to be fresh to the year indicated on the listing and packet but are NOT guaranteed as to results. Sorry, but there are too many variables in gardening that can impact germination so please do not ask for a refund, replacement or to return unused seed. I always recommend that if you are new to gardening, or to a particular type of plant or variety, that you grow just a few at first to test your germination method. Email with any questions - I always respond promptly. Having said all that, we think you will be pleased and would like to hear about your gardening success!
SPECIAL NOTE TO MARKET GROWERS: We market to the home gardener, but we are happy to fill your order for multiples of any variety available. We do not offer bulk discounts – our seeds are already heavily discounted. Also, we will not accept responsibility for crop failures, so please keep that in mind as purchase constitutes acceptance of 100% of the risk involved in growing any seed offered at CherryGal.com.
SHIPPING: This is important! Practiced gardeners know that the best time to order seeds is as early as possible in the season. I do not list varieties for sale that are not in hand, unless it is noted as "coming." I also add/subtract varieties all season long as inventory fluctuates, so check back often. We are constantly improving our fulfillment procedures to decrease the amount of time from order to shipping. We have added a SHIPPING BANNER to the front of the site and on every listing page which will give you the current time frame for shipping seeds. In off-season, seeds ship very quickly - usually the same or next business day. But as the prime season comes on, shipping can slow. Please consult this shipping banner before you purchase, so there will be no disappointments! We fulfill orders in the order received. Choosing priority or express shipping does not influence the speed with which your order is processed, only the speed with which it moves through the postal system. I package my seeds for shipping in a manner appropriate to the amount and type of seed - larger orders and larger seeds require more packaging. Whether you choose first class mail or priority shipping, your seeds will ship using a delivery confirmation number which will be supplied to you. Our checkout system is keyed to the US Postal System. For small seed orders, I recommend choosing FIRST CLASS mail at checkout. Larger orders (over 13 ounces) can ship either parcel post, or you may find PRIORITY MAIL to be less expensive, depending on your zipcode. (I gave up trying to figure out the US Postal System rates a long time ago). Please enter your shipping address correctly and if you can add the Plus Four Zip Code extension, that is extremely helpful.
I appreciate all my CherryGal.com customers, but have a special affinity for my seed customers. If you have a problem, please email me, using the contact links that are all over the website. Calling is likely to be a frustrating experience, as I do not have the staff to answer the phone, and depending on the time of year, I often don't even have the time to listen to messages. But your email will be promptly responded to.
Lastly, keep an eye out for my end of season sale which starts in June until all inventory is sold. It is always a bargain and helps us clear the shelves each season so that I am offering you only the freshest seeds year to year. Happy Gardening and don't forget to share your garden surplus with your local food bank. (There are just so many bags of zucchini you can leave on your neighbors' porches in the dark of night before they they catch on LOL.)