I was taking a walk around Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, which seemed to have become a recreational park on weekends. There are tennis courts, a walking track, and newly created paved connector paths to adjacent neighborhoods. I noticed someone walking the grounds foraging for plants, and I ask her what she was looking for. She told me dandelion greens. Most see this tasty plants/flowers as weeds. In fact dandelions removal is a huge industry. I could not find sale numbers, but when I worked for a large box store’s outdoor department, I sold tons of weed killer. The need for a perfect green lawn is very strong in our culture, but to offer an alternative perspective, I encourage people to look at the demonized dandelion as tasty gourmet eats, and a beautiful flower. For that matter, why not let the lawn, or a good portion go wild. Let wild flowers come up. Provide a habitat for wild life, and save money on lawn care.
I have purchased dandelion greens, but I have never harvested any myself. So I walked around my lawn and easily found some. I tasted a leaf and to my surprise it is sweet like baby lettuce, and only mildly bitter like most raw salad greens. The older leaves are very bitter, but taste better cooked.
The flowers are also edible too. I have not eaten the flowers, but I found a recipe for Dandelion Flower Fritters which I plan to try when the season hits. For now pick some baby dandelion leaves around your lawn (if you do not spray) and eat them like salad greens. If you do spray, maybe this can the year you stop spraying the lawn. You can never tell who sprays, so I only harvest from places you are sure.