I was walking down the road yesterday when I spotted my first dandelions of the year. It reminded me of a day in early spring many years ago when I saw some beautiful dandelions in a churchyard.
After my family moved from Brooklyn to Queens, I would walk to my grandmother’s house in Brooklyn every Friday to stay overnight with her. One spring day, I spotted a massive bunch of bright green dandelions. They were in a churchyard a few blocks away from where she lived. I had to have them! I didn’t hesitate to climb that fence and pick the greens for Grandma to cook for the two of us.
When I got to her house, she carefully cleaned them, cooked them with a little garlic and olive oil, and served them sandwich-style on a big piece of Italian bread. It was heaven!
Maybe it was my imagination, but I felt invigorated. I felt the nutrients from those fresh dandelion greens soaking into my system. It felt like it was what my body needed that spring day.
In Grandma Jennie’s time, bright, fresh greens were not available in wintertime. So, when those first green shoots came out in spring, they seemed to be manna from heaven. She instinctively knew that, in those early, cool rainy days of March and April, green vegetables are just what we need to invigorate us and maintain our health.
Did you ever notice that what is good for the Earth, like eating in season, is also really good for you (a shot of system-boosting vitamins and minerals)? While I don’t think that most of us will be climbing fences and picking weeds from lots, we can take advantage of all of the deliciously fresh greens that spring offers.
So, savor this season and “eat your greens!”