Dandelion farming

May 7, 2007 at 3:13 pm | Posted in baby, charity knitting, country living, dating, dogs, faith, family, free knitting patterns, Habitat for Humanity, hand knit dishcloths, knitted washrags, knitting, knitting for babies, love, marriage, pets, photography, relationships, romance, volunteerism, yarn | 17 Comments

Fireflys Dandelion FarmWe live on a farm, but as I have said before … we are not farmers. We have (or had) corn out in our fields, but we didn’t put it there. We dream of a vineyard and fruit orchard on our acres one day, but there will be much to learn in order to get there.

When I lived in the high desert north of Los Angeles for a couple of years with my children, we tried planting some raised gardens. We enriched the soil, and put up wooden planks to build up areas to grow our vegetables and watermelons and flowers. We covered the planted area with plastic to help keep the ground warm inspite of plunging temperatures in the evenings. We watered, we waited, we watched.

When the time was right we removed the plastic covering and continued watering and watching and waiting.

Fireflys Borrowed Farmers Combine TractorThen one morning we pressed our noses against the window and to our delight saw rows and rows of green plants poking their little heads up in our gardens. The feeling of excitement was electric; we dressed quickly and rushed out to inspect our little green babies.

Arriving on the scene, we looked down with proud faces and saw … tumbleweeds. Rows and rows of the healthiest little baby tumbleweeds we had ever seen.

No carrots, no marigolds, no watermelon vines. Tumbleweeds.

We were tumbleweed farmers.

Cherry Blossoms at Fireflys CottageAt least they were healthy, sturdy, and vibrant. We had done well by our tumbleweeds.

I warned my husband before we married about my “farming” experience, but he wanted me anyway. So, here I am.

Friday evening at dinner I told my husband that it was becoming embarrassing that we still had much of last year’s corn standing in our fields. The farmer who rents our land and works it comes from a family of skilled, knowledgeable, and respectable farmers but he lacks the enthusiasm and love of the work to do it with the prudent order that I tend to associate with the concept of professional farming.

As I told my husband, I wondered what our Amish neighbors must think of us when they go by and see the dead corn stalks standing in the fields bearing cobs of corn never reaped. I wondered if we should put up a large sign on the side of our barn declaring to the world that we do not farm our own land.

Our borrowed farmer did show up late Saturday afternoon with a big ol’ combine. He was out there working in the fields with lights on the combine late into the evening. We heard the drone of his efforts as we drifted off to sleep.

More Cherry Blossoms at Fireflys CottageBy yesterday afternoon most of the corn was finally cut and I believe this morning it is all gone.

As for my husband and I, we actually are farmers–of a sort.

We are dandelion farmers.

The crop comes in strong; we cut it weekly and the next day it is back in full force.

This kind of farming suits us well and we find that we are quite adept at it. We plan to continue on with our dandelion fields for many years to come. Blu enjoys sampling them when he is out in the yard, and judging from his “business” report, he can’t get enough of them.

Side Bar: Blu is sleeping on a comforter beside my desk as I write. I enjoy hearing his breathing and looking over at his sweet face resting on one of his front paws. Interesting to note, Blu uses his front paws very much like hands. We haven’t ever seen another dog that uses its front paws quite so much like hands.

Back to the blog …

Frost in Early May on Fireflys FarmIn Southern California, dandelions were regarded only as lawn pests and “weeds”, but here in the countryside of Western New York they are lovely and loved.

I am amazed to see their fresh, bright faces the next morning after the lawn has been mowed. They are full-grown, sturdy, and have a look about them as if nothing has happened even though just the evening before a tractor rolled over the lawn whacking off everything in its path.

As we drove around this weekend on various errands, to church, to the cottage, etc. I saw dandelion carpets gracing apple orchards whose trees were in full pink and white bloom.

Yes, I have come to love dandelions and will never begrudge their return or their longevity again.

Fireflys Hand Knit Teddy Bear Cardigan ProjectI have a few projects I am working on in present time. First of all, I do still knit–just so you know.

I have enough green wool yarn to knit a cardigan for myself, and I want to design my own pattern for it. However, I was having some trouble deciding exactly what I wanted to do, so I thought it would be a good idea to start with a teddy bear cardigan of my own design.

The problem is that I don’t have much experience knitting adult sized sweaters. I’ve made many baby sweaters in my time, but only one adult sized one. My plan is to freshen up my hands-on experience with knitted sweaters by first designing and knitting a teddy bear cardigan, then I’ll design and knit one for a baby, and then I’ll move on to the cardigan I will design and knit for myself.

The teddy bear cardigan is coming along well, and I hope to finish it this week or by the weekend.

I haven’t started the second hand knit wash/dish cloth in lavender cotton yarn to match the green one, but I might be able to get to that next week sometime. However, I have the Gracious Parcels blankets to sew together, and that will take some doing plus, it takes priority over designing and knitting the second dish cloth.

Speaking of Gracious Parcels, I have started a community blog for Gracious Parcels. The idea with the Gracious Parcels blog is to create an open blogging community for anyone who has contributed at least one 7″ square to a Gracious Parcels blanket. Anyone can view and read the blog, but those who are contributing members may post blogs, photos, share patterns, etc.

Please check out the blog sometime, and if you would like to be a contributing member, leave a comment in any post there expressing your interest and I will contact you via email.

We have had frost twice within the past week, this morning included. After Blu’s morning business report, I walked around with my camera to capture some of the sights for you. I have a terrible problem though: there are so many interesting things I find that it is difficult to narrow down the selection of photos. I used to try to limit my photos to only three per blog, but sometimes three just isn’t enough. This is one of those days.

In closing, I will leave you with several photos from the morning’s walk about the farm, plus a few I shot over the weekend here on the farm and over at our cottage. The white blossoms you will see are wild cherry trees–so beautiful.

Please have a cup of tea, coffee, or what-have-you with me and enjoy the view.

Have a wonderful day, my friend.


While Cherries in Bloom at Fireflys Cottage

Wild Cherries in Bloom at Fireflys Cottage

Pretty Things at Fireflys Cottage

Pretty Flowers at Fireflys Cottage

A Bird in Fireflys Willow

A Pretty Branch at Fireflys Farm

A Chipmunk in Fireflys Willow

Fireflys River on a Frosty Morning

Even the Moon is Out on a Frosty Morning at Fireflys Farm

The Sweetest Thing on Frieflys Farm

A Wild Goose Goes Walking By



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  1. I used to pick the dandelion flowers for my Dad to make into dandelion wine.. so dandelion farming could produce something!

  2. You and I have got to stop blogging like this! My weekend post on my blog was an Ode to Dandelions! This is getting rather funny … !

    Very nice photos, firefly. My favorite is the second blossom one. Great clarity. I like the leaf bud (?) one too. At least I think it’s some kind of bud. Lovely, all, but those two are my favorites.

    Have a great one!

  3. Beautiful photos. I was wondering if you know what type of flower the one with white petals and a yellow and red center is. I took a photo of one of those years ago, and never knew what it was.


  4. dandelions! oh, one day I hope to have my own dandelion farm. 🙂 I had tried cultivating some in our little patch by the mailboxes but the gardener keeps ripping them out! 😊

  5. Funny, someone brought up dandelions just the other day, and it took me back to my childhood. I have fond memories of lazy summer afternoons spent sprawled in the grass with girlfriends, lacing together dandelion bracelets and necklaces. Who’d have ever guessed at that time, that those moments would become such sweet memories? 🙂

    Your pictures are gorgeous, as always.

  6. Hi Firefly!
    I love looking at your photos! I love the spring time! There is so much to take in that sometimes I feel it is overwhelming. But I love it none the less! I haven’t designed my own sweater but I have made myself several sweaters so if you need some guidance I think I could help. There is such pride in wearing something that you’ve made…people are always in such awe! It’s kind of fun! I received the info to post on the gracious parcel blog I’ll try to do that in the next few days. Would like to start another square so I can post it along with a photo or two and maybe a pattern.
    Thanks again for your hard work for all of us to enjoy! Thank you, Thank you!
    Your Friend, Ann

  7. Why does your last picture remind of “Why did the goose cross the road?” As usual, your pictures are beautiful!

  8. I have been enjoying your blog so very much. The photos are lovely…the squirrel up the tree…too cute. I hope it was squirrel. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing.

  9. I am new here. I really enjoy your blog and recently made your pesto couscous dish….it was wonderful. If you don’t mind me asking what camera do you use to take your pictures??

  10. Thank you for posting the beautiful pictures.
    I do believe dandylions are edible. I am not really sure how they are eaten, I am not that brave. They sure are a lovely yellow.
    Have a great day.
    Having a cup-o-Joe with you.

  11. Your photos are beautiful! :-))

    And I love dandelions! I use to make salad with young leaves. It is delicious and very nutritious! :-))

  12. we have a neighbor – a “gentlelady farmer” – who plants much of her cropland to corn – the corn is left standing all winter so the deer and turkeys can feast on it – in the spring the Canadian geese arrive and do the same with what is left standing – last week the corn was cut down and replanted for the coming season – perhaps you can consider your corn fields as a longstanding buffet for your wildlife –

    enjoy – and I so much enjoy your blog –

  13. I love dandelions! They are so bright and cheerful. Our lawn is carpeted with them and the leaves make a nice salad. They can also be lightly sauted in butter with a bit of garlic and some cherry tomatoes served over a jasmine or brown rice for a delicious side dish.

    Your wild cherry trees are beautiful and I love the cat in tree and Blu photos. Bring on the photos.

  14. I’m about to go and make myself a cup of chai – I wish I’d done it before I came here so that I could have sipped while enjoying your wonderful photos. We have wild poppies that come up in our lawn from time to time. If it was up to me I’d let the lawn grow until the flowers died, but the body corporate gardeners come around every two weeks on schedule – makes me sad each time…

  15. When we were kids my Grammy had my sisters and I pick dandelions for her dandelion wine… we absolutely loved picking them and makinga huge basket to carry up to her house…

    Even today, whenever I see a field of dandelions, I want to go pick them… 🙂 Thanks for the memory!

  16. Once again, what lovely relaxing photos. If it weren’t raining here in Wales I’d be inspired to go and find some pretty late spring flowers of my own to photograph. However, I think I’d rather stay in the dry for today!

    I’m the same as you in that I’ve made many baby jumpers and cardigans, but rarely anything for adults. I find that I only have the patience and the attention span for a smaller garment, and anything bigger ends up being unwound and the balls of wool returned to my cupboard.

  17. My Mom makes salad with young dandelions.

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