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Harvesting Stinging Nettles

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Here is a useful exerpt from http://bogs-marshes.suite101.com/article.cfm/an-edible-wetland-plant-harvesting-stinging-nettles

Harvesting Stinging Nettles
Although some people do not react strongly to the little stinging hairs of the nettle plant, many people do react. It is best to wear a sturdy pair of garden gloves when planting, tending to, and harvesting stinging nettles. Use hand pruners as well, since the nettles are often shallowly-rooted and may come out of the ground if pulled. Nettles are best as a cleansing herb in the early spring. Pick the top few leaves in the early spring and the nettles will grow vigorously throughout the summer.

Drying Stinging Nettles for Tea
To preserve this important medicinal plant for cleansing teas, cut the nettle plant near its base. Do this on a sunny day if at all possible, or the nettles will be very damp. Collect several plants together and tie them at the base, hanging them upside-down for good air flow. After a week when the nettles are completely dry, remove the leaves and crush the plants. Store them in containers as nettle tea.

Steaming Stinging Nettles for Soup
Nettles have a rich, earthy taste that is a wonderful complement to lighter flavors like lemon and milk. They taste glorious when they are pureed in a soup. Take care when storing and moving the nettles into a pot, since they can sting until they are steamed. Steam the nettles until they are somewhat limp and bright green, and test a corner to ensure that the sting is gone. Puree them into soups or use them like chard in stir fries.

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  • Posted: Fri. 7th May 2010 13:18

and growing stinging nettles

Reply from Laura Thomas

or try keep a patch somewhere in the garden (if you can) for red admiral and other caterpillars
Gardening for Butterflies

Thanks for the interesting post about all the things to do with nettles - food from the wild for free :)

  • Posted: Sun. 9th May 2010 00:23