Elderly man who picked dandelions for food gets $75 ticket


ABA Journal: Most agree, dandelions are a notorious weed. But some recognize that dandelion greens can contribute to a tasty and nutritious meal.

Among the fans of the food is John Taris, a 75-year-old retiree who lives in the Chicago area with his wife on a $1,500-a-month social security payment. When the couple’s food supply was a bit low recently, he volunteered to go pick some to provide a vegetable, writes columnist John Kass in  the Chicago Tribune (sub. req.).

But, caught in the act of picking the weeds by a Cook County Forest Preserve cop, he was issued a $75 ticket. His court date is July 9.

A spokeswoman for the forest preserve district noted that foraging is prohibited there and called the practice “unsustainable, especially when it’s done for commercial purposes,” the article reports.

“Quite simply, we could see some of these plants disappear over time,” said spokeswoman Karen Vaughan. “It can also have negative impacts on the natural plant and animal communities we’re trying to preserve for the public.”

While dandelions are not native to Illinois or particularly valued species, some native plants resemble dandelions and could be mistaken for them, Vaughan said.

Maybe Cook County should be more concerned about the gun violence that plagues their county than a man merely trying to get a vegetable.



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Gotta remember Chicago is run by gangasters and all they care about is your money.

Mark Tipton

Perhaps they thought he was going to be making wine and not paying his taxes. That would be far more devastating to the Chicago Political Machine than any old gun violence on the wrong side of town.


Great post, DCG!

I’ve tried hard to keep my distance for a few days to help complete some work. However, this post sucked me right down the rabbit hole.

I can’t begin to understand people like that forest preserve cop or spokeswoman Karen Vaughan. Do these people have even an ounce of compassion? We see people like them working for town governments on Cape Cod, and believe me when I tell you, they all act like they’ve taken LSD one time too many. There is no sensible way to reach any of them.

Dressage Rider
Dressage Rider

What a bunch of BS! All that fuss over weeds! Will they arrest the wildlife that lives off weeds?

Christine A Hall

Dandelions? DANDELIONS?? You can’t kill them things, no matter WHERE they grow. Is this “park cop” and woman thick in the head?? Granted I live in Western MD where I’m assuming they’re native, but if they weren’t, they’re invasive now! (And that’s what theirs will be in a couple years!) Is she kidding me?? I know several golf courses, quite a few lawn owners, heaven only knows who else, who would PAY him to come pick them, so long as he took the tap root w/ him! I guess he’d have to fill his divots on the golf courses… LOLOL!… Read more »


Disgusting!U would think our officals would have better things to do then pick on a elderly person picking dandellions!!I have eaten them before and they grow lke crazy..Even though they are good for you they are still a weed!!Whats the deal.This country has gone insane!!


Having just read about BO (new name for stink weed) barking orders for us to spy on everyone and everything, do ya think he’ll post weed-watchers now? Oh boy, we really have hit bottom!