I have not tried it myself, but I can’t see why you couldn’t. This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services, to personalize ads and to analyze traffic. Also Read: How to Harvest Stinging Nettle, Quick and Easy Pesto Pasta, Creamy Chicken & Stinging Nettle Pasta What is Stinging Nettle Pesto. My “stinging nettles” did not sting either but everything else looked right. I would love any recommendations . Frittatas are an excellent way to use up leftover bits in the fridge. You may use it in omelettes, soups and stews, cooked greens with a drizzle of apple cider vinegar, or mixed into pasta dishes. How to Dry Stinging Nettle. If you can confirm that they are stinging nettle, harvest them early in the season when they are in good condition before the seeds form. By cutting just above that spot, you actually encourage new growth. Hi Laverne, For more help with identification, check out this website. Pop the wad into your mouth, and chew it well before swallowing. If harvesting wild stinging nettle you will find the antidote for nettle stings near by. If you have a dark, dry, airy space to hang small bundles of nettle, that might be another option to consider. I know you weren’t crazy now! Are they viruses spots? Wear gloves, long sleeves, and long trousers to avoid the stinging hairs. See those tiny prickly barbs on the stems of the plant in the photo above. First Nations used it to produce cordage. This makes the most medicinal nettle tea I’ve ever used. Hi Lee There are LOTS of nettles in the various parks I visit. amzn_assoc_title = "Helpful foraging tools...";
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The optimum time to pick stinging nettle is just before blossoms develop in spring and early summer. Typically when I harvest, I harvest mature nettle plants with large leaves. Hi Dennis, If I find extra, I dry it to add depth of flavor to various herbal tea blends. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) and the stingless nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) are all sources of fibres. Sign up for Honest-to-Goodness Homesteading Information and get my new eBook 'Secrets to a Weed & Pest Free Homestead' for FREE! This page contains affiliate links. Large leaves will fill up a bag or bucket fairly quickly. Smaller, younger leaves are more heart-shaped. I’ve been eating stinging nettle for over 10 years and look forward to harvesting it every spring. i have hay fever and suffer when any pollen is high. As for eating stinging nettle – cooking or drying stinging nettle will disable the sting. Cut the fresh nettles at one of their nodes, snipping directly into the bag, bucket, or burlap sack. Leave a comment! Generally, an herbalist would use alcohol of at least 50%... Cap tightly. can you help me? Are you ready to put on your gloves and harvest some stinging nettle? If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. Store in an airtight container in a dark place. Stinging nettles aren’t the only nettles I know of, there’s also wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) that has leaves that are more round than the pointed leaves of stinging nettles, both are good and give great results as long as you harvest them young. Be careful not to harvest from areas that are close to busy streets or are frequented by dog walkers. Is it just the texture that doesn’t work for the larger leaves? Here's a, Anyone else enjoy hot pepper and cream cheese on c, As delicious as it looks, this quinoa black bean s, Have you tried making infused vinegars? It relieves inflation and decreases pain. Had a severe case of hives last summer-went to doc. But the idea of eating stinging nettle was maybe just a bit far fetched for me to wrap my adolescent brain around. Maturity – More important than size is the maturity of the plant. Size – I don’t pick according to size; any size leaf will do. Hi Cha, How to Harvest Stinging Nettle Leaves Stinging nettles grow practically everywhere: even in cities, it is often possible to find the plant growing in parks or gardens as a weed. Some of the videos showed how to grasp the leaves (gloved hands, for the most part). By harvesting only the top third in spring, you’ll have more to harvest later in the season. I enjoyed reading your piece on the Nettle, a Cornish bush Favorited of mine. I am aware of great improvement from allergic rhinitis and undiagnosed hip joint pains over the last two years and this seems long term. . Cut the leaves away from the stem using scissors and place your harvest in a basket. To freeze, you’ll need to blanch the nettle first to remove the sting and make it freezer stable. Cheaper and even more nutrient rich than spinach. This may be due to variation between subspecies of nettles. I pick long stems with scissors and then use the scissors to cut off the leaves. Our nettle is covered by 2-3 feet of snow for 5-6 months of the year! I have had stinging nettle on pizza and it is delicious! Armed with a basket or paper bag, scissors, gloves, long pants, long sleeves and closed-toe shoes, you’re ready to head into the nettle patch. Your nettles will be ready to harvest between 80-90 days from seed. I even snacked on them for couple years but luckily didn’t ingest too much. Just began eating stinging nettles, raw (uncooked), after watching some Youtube videos. I’ve returned to my roots with a more open mindset about trying wild edibles that might seem a bit odd or out of the ordinary. Thanks for the tasty tip, Marj! Plastic bags don’t breath as well and may cause condensation which will cause mold to grow if you don’t empty the bag right away. The best time to harvest nettles is the first few weeks of spring when the leaves are young and tender. Before you start picking stinging nettle let’s look at what causes the sting so you know what to do to avoid getting hurt by nettle. Stinging nettle is truly an amazing plant – and can make for a delicious and highly nutritious green addition to your meals! Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. Hi Getty, The following are the different methods for drying stinging nettle to allow you to preserve the benefits of the herb for a longer period of time. While it does appear to be edible, anyone considering eating it, should do more in-depth research on how to safely use it. After it flowers and seeds form, stinging nettle gets more gritty which may lead to urinary concerns in some people. Thank you for sharing this helpful information! Oh, if you do happen to get stung, try soothing it with a paste of baking soda and water or an anti-histamine cream. Fast forward to this spring and you’ll find (big) me out in the weeds with my gloves on,... Leaves Are Best When Harvested In Spring. The stingers (or needles) point down. 2. Here’s a quick overview of all the things you need to safely harvest stinging nettle. Method: Fill a quart jar with nettle roots. Also Read:  How to Prepare and Use Stinging Nettle, How to Freeze Stinging Nettle, How to Dry Stinging Nettle. Try stinging nettles in a wide range of recipes and stash some away for the winter. Excellent – you go for it Dee! Is it safe to eat these leaves? I also appreciate the value of stinging nettles much to the amusement of my godmother who lives on the old family farm. Hope you find something that will help alleviate your symptoms. Getty, This looks like a perfect green to use for Martha Stewart’s Spinach and Feta Pie, which I make frequently but have been using other greens because fresh organic spinach is so expensive. I would never prescribe consuming a certain amount per day. Let's put good food on the table! I’m guessing that I can, but all of the recipes I’ve found have required fresh nettles. Yep, cheese! The more significant issue is that those tiny hollow barbs also release a chemical mixture made up of serotonin, acetylcholine, histamine and formic acid. White dead nettle (Lamium album) is from a different family of plants than stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), while it may mimic the look of stinging nettle, it is quite different. Thanks for all of the great info! amzn_assoc_linkid = "6a046523488496d95e684bdd6034ff01";
It is best to harvest before it goes to flower. I tried the tea and wasn’t a huge fan, but with some honey and lemon it was pretty good. Glad you found relief. Stinging nettle is called stinging nettle because it has needles which can poke your skin and cause a stinging sensation. Use 3 cups of loose fresh nettles in the biscuit recipe, 6 cups in the soup. Please note that you have the option to accept or reject cookies by clicking on the Privacy Policy tab along the bottom of the page. Frittata: olive oil, potatoes, eggs, blanched stinging nettle leaves, onion +or green onion, garlic, milk, chedder cheese if desired, tomato pieces if desired, salt and pepper. Do you like getting dirt under your fingernails? That way you’ll get the best nutrients from the plant and you’ll be much happier and confident with your edibles. Any ideas other than tea that I could use it up with? The best way to harvest stinging nettles is by using sharp scissors or garden shears. This site uses cookies to track your purchases through Amazon. Try using dried nettles mixed into herbal teas or grind them into a powder and add a tablespoon in soups or smoothies. After 6 weeks, strain the jar contents, reserving the liquid. Stinging nettle can be found across the globe. It certainly shows how hardy nettle is. Seriously! Harvest the nettles by cutting off only the upper leaves (no larger than about 3” wide). The trees are pollinating now and ask me how I know Yes! When harvested with care, stinging nettles are easy to forage and well worth the effort. I’m glad you found this info useful Rebecca. In the photo below, you can see the two leaf sets on either side of the cut, both of these will grow into new shoots. How to Make Money and Save Money on Your Homestead. My new backyard is woodsy and natural, and I have plenty growing…so I will be drying, harvesting and freezing…for the first time. Being near the Equator there are always new leaves on it though early in the year it is a little yellow and more fibrous. Use approximately 1 cup of leaves to 2 cups water. Nettle pesto pasta is one of many delicious recipes using nettles. Pick the first two or three pairs of leaves from the top of the plants. Basically, any recipe calling for cooked spinach or kale can be made with stinging nettle. Nettle would be perfect for that recipe. Hi Julie, The leaves will be at their optimum – bright green, tender and with few insects. Stinging nettle pesto is a green sauce/condiment/paste made with garlic, salt, Parmesan, walnuts, oil and blanched stinging nettle. Enjoy! One man said that he occasionally felt a mild sting on his tongue for a short time (less than 30 seconds, as the enzymes in saliva neutralize the formic acid in the leaves). Pour 40% vodka over them. By mid summer, you should be able to harvest these again. True to its name, stinging nettle imparts a painful sting through tiny hairs on the underside of its leaves and on its stems. One site recommended I check the underside of the leaves for “white spittles” when I harvest do you know what the heck it was talking about? Thanks for the harvesting advice! How To Harvest & Use Stinging Nettle Harvesting Stinging Nettles. I’m not sure if the spittle bug which make white foamy homes like nettles. The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry. Due to their trademark sting, you want to take extra precautions when harvesting stinging nettles. Patch of nettle in sunny spot along edge of forest. After all, in my experience, this plant was the source of many a painful rash! I bet your godmother is having a grand time watching you process stinging nettles Lol, my mom chuckles too. Also, most sites recommend you not use the stems. Drain and refrigerate or use immediately. Apply aloe vera gel. Glad to hear you’re able to use your nettle as food, protection and for its medicinal purposes. But if that were the only defense the plant had, it would be nothing more than a very brief, minor pin prick. I really enjoy the taste of nettle as a fresh spring green. Sometimes I find nettles and I don’t have any gloves so I pick them with bare hands. Use stinging nettle as a substitute for spinach in any recipe where the greens are cooked. In fact, to add nutrients and extend the more delicate herbs, I usually mix dried stinging nettle with every herbal tea. What are yo, https://www.gettystewart.com/how-to-saute-stinging-nettle-with-garlic/, https://www.gettystewart.com/how-to-make-stinging-nettle-soup/, https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/herbalsupp. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart";
Thanks for visiting and commenting, it’s great to hear about other people’s experiences. Set them aside and use them later … I’m sure your compost won’t mind sharing a few of the nettles with you. Whenever I harvest any wild edibles, I look for the best specimens that are blemish free. Cut about 2 -3 inches above ground level just above where there are two leaves branching off. When it comes to nettle, the biggest reason people shy away from them is the small needles that sting when touched. Hi Felicia, 1. So in this 3-4 month harvesting window that we have, I would recommend getting enough stinging nettle to last you for the entire year. You’ll probably want to wear kitchen gloves or use tongs to handle. Armed with a basket or paper bag, scissors, gloves, long pants, long sleeves and closed-toe shoes, you’re ready to head into the nettle patch. A paper bag, bucket, or burlap sack to hold your harvest Once you identify the right nettle: Always wear your gloves when handling the plant. So, what do you think? I’m not sure of the nutrient break down over time. How to harvest stinging nettles. Thanks for sharing such an important lesson, Dee. Clip or pinch off several sets of leaves from the top of the plant. HOW TO TREAT NETTLE STINGS. Getty. You will not pay any extra when you purchase products through these links, but I will receive a small commission. These nettles did not sting. Hi, what I thought was stinging nettles actually turned out to be white snake root which is a poisonous plant. Hope this helps. I love nettle tea, and on occasion , I have cooked up the leaves in casseroles and such. If there is any sign of mold, don’t use them. It grows rapidly and will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly. Hi Getty I’ve been using nettles in my compost for years but this year I’ll be trying your recipe I do have it growing in my garden and keep it growing for the above use so do have a supply of it on hand so I recon I can say winner. Learn about the benefits, side effects, and research around stinging nettle here. When sauteed or in soup or biscuits I find the stinging nettle quite mild and pleasant tasting – even milder than spinach. And of course, freezing is another great way to preserve your nettle for later use. You have successfully joined our subscriber list. She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The only thing you can’t do is eat it raw! A great reminder for all of us to be 100% certain of what we’re harvesting. But you can harvest the topmost leaves into the summer. Bring along a pair of scissors or garden clippers to make harvesting easier. After the flowers turn to seeds, the old leaves will develop gritty particles called cystoliths that may be irritating to some people, whether taken as tea or eaten cooked. According to botanist Laura Reeves who I mentioned in the article, the black spiny caterpillar of the Milbert’s tortoishell butterfly only lay their eggs on nettle. It’s not an issue for anyone in my family, but something to be aware of and a reason why people often recommend harvesting nettle before it goes to seed. Blanching is an important step before freezing nettle. I collect and use Nettle for house hold use, dried I use it as a herb as well for drinking tea’s. Wash leaves as soon after harvest as you can manage. How much is enough? Wash the area with soap and water to remove the nettle hairs. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. How great is it that you and I can have the same edible plant growing across the globe in two very different habitats. Collecting and eating wild plants carries a certain amount of risk and I cannot be held responsible if you don’t practice due diligence in identifying plants before eating them. What do you use yours for? They are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and full of calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium. (Sorry Gramma! It's Stinging Nettle season! I like to prepare my nettles for tea by first drying them , then I pack a Mason jar to the top with dried leaves. The sting is a combination of tiny barbs and the release of chemicals. Some people purposely sting themselves to encourage the release of an anti-inflammatory response. Welcome to my site! Information about your use of this site is shared with Google. Tea and possibly a skin wash. In your option is it o.k. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. For starters, always wear gloves, and not just thin, gardening gloves: make sure they’re thick garden or work gloves that the stinging hairs can’t penetrate. Me too! In early spring, I cut the top third to half of the plant where the most tender leaves are. Thanks for sharing this info. Getty. Puree the potatoes in the stock and add the nettle leaves – puree more if needed. What is your favorite way to use them? If you do, leave a comment below or reach me on Instagram @getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist. I can’t wait to try it. When you plan on harvesting nettles. It’s good karma to let them be. While harvesting stinging nettles can be unpleasant, it also teaches you to pay attention to your surroundings. I write from Nairobi, Kenya. At the very top of the nettle, pinch the growing tip with one hand, lean the nettle over, then cut through the base of the stem using a knife with your other hand. Stinging Nettle identification … Getty. I have grown, harvested, and used stinging nettles for many years. Hi Leandra, Chop the roots into small pieces. (After the sting wears off). Enjoy and let me know what you think. Sigh. Sign up for my newsletter if you want to get posts like this in your inbox. (Another fine mesh I got myself into!). I started this blog to share my adventures in homesteading and self-sufficiency. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. Thanks for sharing and opening conversation on the stinging nettle. Spinning Nettle fibres is much the same as spinning any other fibre, the method of spinning it depends on the length of the fibre, the quality, and what you want to use the yarn for, as well as the treatment you intend to give the yarn after it has been spun. The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading. White Dead Nettle looks very similar to stinging nettle but does not sting here in UK. When you are ready to harvest, take a digging knife with you in addition to gloves, long sleeves and trousers. It forms great intruder deterrent and now provides food. I am interested in the storage of nettles in my freezer. Thanks for your article. Learn when and where to find this wild food, how to identify, how to prepare, and how to avoid the sting! Thanks for the idea…Hopefully I can find some nettles this year to try this. The long stems make nettle perfect for hang drying. It’s this cocktail that causes the long lasting stinging or burning sensation we experience. Glad to have you here! I found it preposterous at the time that this irritating weed could be edible, much less a delicious wild green. ), For my next foraging project, I intend to create homemade stinging nettle rennet to make cheese. I leave the remaining plant so that it can regrow. I have never tried using stinging nettle root, nor have I seen much about it. I’d try using it up by then. -Jen in Shelburne, MA.
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