Good Dandelion Questions

Readers at both my blog and here at asked about the taste of the dandelion root coffee that I described here.

As you can see below, after grinding and brewing, it certainly looks like coffee, and the 50-50% blend with real coffee is barely distinguishable for having been economically adulterated.  read more... »

Wood Burning: Resilient and Carbon Neutral


Thomas Homer-Dixon is a smart Canadian with some keen insight on the problems that our species face. His book The Upside of Down is an exploration of the biggest threats facing us and the planet. Two of his top five are the problems that I think will have the most influence on our way of life this century: Peak Oil and Climate Change.  read more... »

Solar Retrofit to a mid-1960's bungalow - Part 2

Well, since my first posting about doing a solar thermal retrofit to my house back on May 10th, I'm sorry to day it's been pretty much a nightmare.  When the collectors arrived on March 14th, they looked like they'd been shipped through a war zone.

 read more... »

Weedgeek: dandelion

I’ll start this weedgeek post by saying that I know hardly anyone can pick dandelions the way I do. For most people with uniform yards of Kentucky blue-grass, extracting the yellow flower with an intact tap-root is a futile task. I’ve seen those screwdriver-like weed pickers that are sold in hardware stores described as ‘weed-breeders’ because they always break the root and any dandelion root fragment will just grow another dandelion.

Because I have no grass, I pick my dandelions with a pitch-fork.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate the dandelion. People eat the greens and crowns. Make wine and fritters from the blossoms. But for me, dandelion-root coffee is the real prize. Because organic, fair trade coffee is pricey, it’s easy to quantify the value every scoop of dandelion coffee that I brew.  read more... »