Elderly man who picked dandelions for food gets $75 ticket

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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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0 responses to “Elderly man who picked dandelions for food gets $75 ticket

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

  2. 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.

  3. traildustfotm

    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.

  4. Dressage Rider

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

  5. 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! Don’t they MOW THESE THINGS DOWN, as they only grow in open grass areas?? They don’t do well, where they have to compete w/ other plants for sunlight. Show of hands who – sadly – know this?

    That nature spokeswoman will come to regret EVER preserving one plant, (and I’m sure she’ll come to learn that quick enough!) An invasive weed and a park-or-whatever spokeslady wants to SAVE it???? Does she NOT understand what “invasive and non-natural” means? Honeysuckle is invasive around here. I love it, and wouldn’t want to lose it, cuz I’ve sucked the honey out of the flowers since I was old enough to be taught how to do it. But it will kill trees and speaking of that, would she want to save kudzu too?? You can apparently eat that, or cattle feed, something, because that’s what it was imported for, as a “good idea”, I know an entire region of the US where folks would beg to differ. There is NOOOOOO use for kudzu, unless you can eat it, and God hasn’t made enough humans from the beginning of time that could eat as much as is growing this very day! LOL

    Zzzzzt…Zzzzt! Does not compute! Does not compute! Yes, they’re good to eat, (never having been brave enough myself, but my brother loves them, but then he won’t eat sour grass tho and I love it), but even if every citizen there pulled just the leaves and heads off, (dang few would have any reason to fool w/ the tap root), it would come back double that by the fall!

    And they PAY this stupid woman??? I think I’ve heard it all now, tho I’m sure someone will top this idiocy by tomorrow. I thought dandelions were invasive everywhere, really. (Except maybe in the desert areas of America.) All the way to California where my brother learned to eat them. I’m sure someone would be willing to send her a boatload of seeds, ready to scatter even if they don’t float away… *shake my head* Man oh man… This world has gone nutz. Aside from the extraordinary idiocy of politicians, but for this friendly rant, I’m ignoring them temporarily! *wink*

  6. 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!!

  7. 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!


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