Dutch biologist Ingrid van der Meer often meets with disbelief when she talks about her work on dandelions and how it could secure the future of road transport.
The reaction is understandable, given most people regard the yellow flowers as pesky intruders in their gardens rather than a promising source of rubber for tires.
"People just think of it as a horrible weed and ask how can you get enough material for tires from just a small root," she said.
Her research team is competing with others across the world to breed a type of dandelion native to Kazakhstan whose taproot yields a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it.
Global tire makers such as industry leader Bridgestone Corp (5108.T) and No.4 player Continental AG (CONG.DE) believe they are in for rich pickings and are backing such research to the tune of millions of dollars.
Early signs are good. A small-scale trial by a U.S. research team found the dandelions delivered per-hectare rubber yields on a par with the best rubber-tree plantations in tropical Asia.
So within a decade, rather than being a backyard bane like their wild cousins, the new flowers might be seen in neat rows in hundreds of thousands of acres across Europe and the United States, where they can grow even in poor soil.
And they could have some interesting modifications. For instance, German researchers have bred the plants to grow to up to a foot (30 cm) in height, dwarfing many of their backyard cousins. They are also developing the dandelions with upright rather than flat-growing leaves - just so harvesting machines have something to grab on to.
Do you know what else dandelions are good for? EATING! Young leaves of pre-flowering plants, the flowers themselves, and finally mature roots (best as a tea/coffee alternative) are all delicious and nutritious : ) Also, they are know to help various ailments and regulate your body’s vit/min requirements. So next time you see some dandelions growing about, hopefully in a less polluted area, enjoy a nice salad. (Warning, although there are no poisonous lookalikes, there are inedible and spiky ones, so research and proper identification are necessary whenever one plans on handling or consuming foraged foods, especially mushrooms). Hopefully, companies that plan on biointensive dandelion farming look at their potential as food and medicine, as well as a viable rubber source.
Dandelions yo. Or should I say, eh?
I want some cucamelon seeds…. Apparently they taste like cucumbers with a “hint of lime” and they’re DROUGHT RESISTANT!
I must find some of these….. and save their seeds once I grow them!!! I must….
I can send you seeds! Send me a messageI have been growing them for two years now.
I would recommend you also try a horned cucumber (Cucumis metuliferus) if you are in the desert and looking for juicy, fresh-tasting options. I’ll also have seeds for that one at the end of the season here.
I have started tags of #arid and #desert, and I am working on filling them up with more info, but if you are looking for drought-tolerant options, you should ask someone like lisa-rayner, who does permaculture in Arizona. She literally wrote to book on the subject.
The greenhouse has been very productive this year, the tomatoes have been delicious but are nearly over now :-(
Cucumbers are on the way and aubergines have some lovely flowers (fingers crossed!)
Romaine lettuce “tacos” tonight filled with diced yellow & green zucchini, cucumber, chioggia beets, red onion, pineapple, cilantro, avocado, cherry tomatoes, & dressed with lime juice! Also a few edible flowers thrown in… nasturtiums, calendula petals, & onion blossoms.
Learn all about heirloom cucumber varieties — from how to pickle gherkins to saving cucumber seeds.
August 1, 2013
By William Woys Weaver
Heirloom Vegetable Gardening by William Woys Weaver is the culmination of some thirty years of first-hand knowledge of growing, tasting and cooking with heirloom vegetables. A staunch supporter of organic gardening techniques, Will Weaver has grown every one of the featured 280 varieties of vegetables, and he walks the novice gardener through the basics of planting, growing and seed saving. Sprinkled throughout the gardening advice are old-fashioned recipes — such as Parsnip Cake, Artichoke Pie and Pepper Wine — that highlight the flavor of these vegetables. The following excerpt on heirloom cucumber varieties was taken from chapter 16, “Cucumbers.”
Photo By Fotolia/andrewsht
My first Cherokee Purple #tomato. It was super juicy and delicious in addition looking cool. Hooray for #gardening since it allows me to #grow awesome different varieties! #gardening #organic #instafood #food #foodblogger #healthy #inseason #veggies #growsomethinggreen #plantbased #growyourownfood
Discover which heirloom watermelon varieties to grow in your garden.
By William Woys Weaver
Heirloom Vegetable Gardening by William Woys Weaver is the culmination of some thirty years of first-hand knowledge of growing, tasting and cooking with heirloom vegetables. A staunch supporter of organic gardening techniques, Will Weaver has grown every one of the featured 280 varieties of vegetables, and he walks the novice gardener through the basics of planting, growing and seed saving. Sprinkled throughout the gardening advice are old-fashioned recipes — such as Parsnip Cake, Artichoke Pie and Pepper Wine — that highlight the flavor of these vegetables. The following excerpt on heirloom watermelon varieties was taken from chapter 39, “Watermelons.”
Uprooting racism in the food system: Communities organize for justice
March 11, 2013
A shovel overturned can flip so much more than soil, worms, and weeds. Structural racism - the ways in which social systems and institutions promote and perpetuate the oppression of people of color – manifests at all points in the food system. It emerges as barriers to land ownership and credit access for farmers of color, as wage discrimination and poor working conditions for food and farmworkers of color, and as lack of healthy food in neighborhoods of color. It shows up as discrimination in housing, employment, redlining, and other elements which impact food access and food justice.
😋🍇Today, treat yourself to some sweet grapes! So happy to finally be at the happiest place on earth! Woodstock Fruit Festival! Sharing this beautiful lifestyle with friends😄Come join us! 🍇#woodstockfruitfestival
😋🍇Hoy, date el placer de comer uvas dulces! Feliz que porfin estoy en el lugar más feliz del mundo! Festival de Frutas compartiendo este hermoso estilo de vida con amigos😄🍇Acompáñanos! #rawvana (at Woodstock Fruit Festival)
My birthday cake turned out my best raw cake yet! Super soft & creamy raw chocolate cake! 😍❤️ It just melts in the mouth… 😊😘
I made this cake because someone wants to order cakes from me and I had to practice making a chocolate one. I’m happy I succeeded at the first try! 😊
I know you guys want the recipe and I’m more than happy to share the love, but I’m going to have to do it another day… I just did garden work for 2.5 hours and now all I want is to get a good night sleep! 😴💤 I’ll add the recipe in the comments section below either tomorrow or the day after, so if you want a reminder just comment something below and I’ll tag you once the recipe is in. 👍
Good night everyone, or good morning or good day, depending on where you are in the world!! 😊😍😘💗🌙⭐️☀️🌍🌎🌏
#farmgirlfarm medley kale bouquet!
(at Farm Girl Farm)
Better than flowers!
Let them mature and you get soup beans