Dandelion Day with Tereska Shepherd
Saturday 20th May: 11:00 – 15:00
This special event is aimed at celebrating the Dandelion and many other ‘weeds’ which are not only important food sources for our pollinating insects but often tasty & nutritious free foods and artistically inspiring. Pop into the Willow Gallery anytime from 11am to 3pm to find out more and get creative with a variety of art activities, suitable for all ages, including Batik & watercolour with Tereska Shepherd. The Willow Eatery will be serving a variety of tasty foraged foods and there will also be the opportunity to find out more about how else you can help pollinating insects from Friends of the Earth.
Dandelions are a vital source of early pollen and nectar for bees, when other food sources are relatively scarce, one Dandelion flower consists of up to 100 florets, each one packed with nectar and pollen, this easily available source of food is a lifesaver for bees emerging from hibernation in spring. Throughout the year Dandelions are valuable for other wildlife like Hoverflies, Beetles, and Butterflies such as the Peacock and Holly blue which all feed on the flowers whilst birds such as Goldfinches, Siskins & Sparrows eat the seeds.
Believe it or not, this plant was not always thought of as a weed, it used to be referred to as a herb, valued for its medicinal properties and was cultivated by the Victorians as a salad crop. Like Nettles, Dandelions are rich in nutrients including calcium, Vitamins A & C, D and iron. Both of these plants, similar to spinach, are easier to grow and often more flavoursome than conventional salad leaves. You don’t have to worry about slugs or having poor quality soil – in fact their long taproots help bring otherwise inaccessible nutrients up, enriching your soil.
Come along and find out more about these fascinating plants and share your own foraged food recipes, this Saturday.