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You can turn your weeds into wine with Urban Forage's help

A future bottle of wine?

A future bottle of wine?

Do you miss making dandelion bouquets for Mom and Grandma? If picking spring flowers is a chore you adore, then Urban Forage can use your help.

The local foraging cidery-winery on East Lake Street recently put out a call for dandelions and lilacs to make some seasonal wines. The response for free yard clean-up was such a hit that the husband-wife team hit a new snag: They need more hands to help pick the flowers.

Urban Forage will pay for your help, giving coupons for 50 percent off a bottle of the finished product to any volunteers who help with the picking.They’re only harvesting from yards close to the Longfellow neighborhood (so no suburban homes), and yards need to be free of dog waste and must not have been sprayed with chemicals for at least three years.

And the clock is ticking: They hope to grab all those flowers before they wither and turn to seed particles.

This will be Urban Forage’s first batch of commercial dandelion wine, but Jeff Zeitler (who co-owns the winery with his wife, Gita) has made a homemade version many times in the past. He describes the recipe as light and floral with a hint of bitterness.

“It's a great light white wine,” he says. “It pairs well with spicy fish tacos or falafel, in my opinion, maybe with dandelion green salad too.” It will take at least three months to properly age, so it won’t be ready until late summer at the earliest.

Gita Zeitler shows off some of the fruits of foraging.

Gita Zeitler shows off some of the fruits of foraging.

Anyone who wants to help pick the pretty flowers and save some money on wine down the road should contact Zeitler at [email protected]