Why Does the Sun Spit on the Ground?

I just came in from the garden. I graveled potatoes.

That’s what my grandmother always called it when we prodded the dirt around the plants, looking for baby potatoes, but left the plants intact so they could make big spuds, too.

“C’ mon” she’d say, “Let’s pick a mess of greens to boil these with.”

She never stepped outside without a bonnet. Never. Her arms were leathery and spotted, but her face was white and smooth like baby’s skin.

Since it was a hardscrabble farm, the only lawn she had was a patch fronting the dirt road that went by the house. The rest was trails through weeds, feedlots, and pasture. We’d wander around gathering a few leaves of dock, and as much Lamb’s Quarter as we could find. We never could find a lot.

“I guess we’ll have to use dandelion greens for the rest,” she’d say. No matter how dry it was—even when there were cracks in the earth—there were dandelions.  We’d only pick the small ones.  The big ones were too bitter.

I suppose they were medicinal. I have no idea what they were supposed to do, except remind me that in hard times, you make do with what you’ve got.

So now my taters are boiling along with a few sprigs of chives. (I figured Grandma wouldn’t mind if I spruced it up a bit.) I’m sitting back, staring at my lawn, dotted with golden flowers, and wondering how many dandelions I’d need to make wine?  As Grandma always said….

“Make do with what you’ve got.”


About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in Appreciation, Enough, Hope, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Why Does the Sun Spit on the Ground?

  1. Lisa Nowak says:

    According to my medicinal herb book, the leaves are a diuretic and a digestive and liver tonic.


  2. Barb says:

    Wow, Rose.
    Thanks for your research. I guess I have a gallon of dandelions in the yard, but picking them…sigh.
    I’m with you I wonder what it tastes like?


  3. Barb says:

    Sharon, you crafters are the best at figuring out how to use every little bit of leftover yarn, and it turns out beautiful. Now if you could just knit wine bottles.


  4. digipicsphotography says:

    Isn’t that the truth! Make do with what you’ve got! Make soup with left over veggies and a little chicken. Make scrap afghans with left over yarn, even a knitted scrap sweater with left over yarn or a coat of many colors.


  5. Roxie says:

    Dandelions are high in vitamin c and iron. And your grandmother was a treasure! Make do with what you’ve got is a great principle to live by. It drives a lot of my knitting and sewing.


  6. Rose Lefebvre says:




    I got curious about dandelion wine recipes, so looked them up and found the 3 sites above with a recipe. The last site uses raisins and rose petals in theirs!
    Now this site: http://www.thecompostbin.com/2006/05/how-to-make-dandelion-wine.html
    uses raisins, lemons, oranges and a banana in it!
    Has anyone ever made it? You do need a lot of dandelion petals!!

    One person did give this warning:
    I’ve made dandelion wine once before. If you’ve ever made beer at home, you’ll know that over-sweetening a brew at bottling does not make it sweet-—it makes it dangerous! Four of my seven bottles of dandelion wine exploded like alcoholic grenades, sending chunks of glass all over the place. This year, I’m going to make a still dandelion wine instead of a carbonated one, hopefully avoiding any more explosions.


  7. Rose Lefebvre says:

    I got to thinking how many dandelions it would take to make a bottle of dandelion wine, so I researched. I found a recipe here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2065906_make-dandelion-wine.html
    and it says you need 3 quarts of dandelion blossoms. It seems to me that would be a LOT of dandelions!! LOL
    At this site you need a gallon of blossoms: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/72042_dandelion-wine-recipe

    I wonder what it tastes like?


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