It had been raining for a couple days and i went without gloves (as i most usually do) and i got my hand up against some nettles and no sting...so i intentionally tried to get stung, as i began to hypothesize about how the rain had made the needle like hairs on the nettle leaves, limp. There are a couple of great articles on the internet describing how to harvest nettle seeds… The plant itself has a pretty distinct shape and design. Nettles have a bast fibre that runs the length … While some of us might grow stinging nettle, up in the Pacific Northwest, it grows as a weed as early as January. Some people purposely sting themselves to encourage the release of an anti-inflammatory response. They are so abundant right now and so helpful during these busy periods that it was a real pleasure to get out gathering them. Harvesting and Brewing Stinging Nettles. Keep the gloves on while you’re preparing the nettles as well. Before that, it is advisable to steam them or blanch them in salted water so they lose their sting. The stem is usually less than 1cm in diameter and the coarsely saw-toothed leaves are lance shaped to oval and have a pointed tip and a heart shaped base. Stinging nettles are an herbaceous, fast growing plant with leaves as well as stems, which are covered with tiny, hollow silica tipped hairs and can grow to about 4 feet (1 m.) tall. 2 cups dried or 4 cups of fresh stinging nettle roots; 3 to 4 cups vodka or brandy (80 proof) 1-quart jar; 5 amber glass bottles with dropper lids; Instructions. And when you cook, soak, or dry Nettles, they lose their stinging property. But it has been used as a food and medicine plant dating back at least to ancient Rome. A Note of Caution: Always seek medical advice from your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any nutritional or herbal supplements. Stinging nettle is a nutritious spring green that has many uses, and once identified, may become a staple for your spring foraging. If you have a disease or pest problem in your grow space, nettle could be the solution. Description and Life Cycle: Grows from 2 to 6 feet tall. Tips For Harvesting Nettle Leaves. Harvesting Wild nettle (aka stinging nettle), isn’t as painful as it might sound! How to Harvest Stinging Nettle. It is recommended that you wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting stinging nettle. Harvest the tops of the plant or the first 4-6 leaves. Anyone up for a Nettle-A-Long? So when you have an opportunity to forage these, just freeze them. How to Harvest Stinging Nettle Leaves. The seeds and roots have medicinal value. Harvesting nettle can prove a bit tricky. The best time to harvest nettles is the first few weeks of spring when the leaves are young and tender. That was mostly brought about by two things: Joining Transition Towns, which had a focus on local foraging. The best way to harvest stinging nettles is by using sharp scissors or garden shears. I wear rose gloves, which cover my forearms. I made the mistake of using garden gloves and my hands are riddled with stinging bumps. Nettle is also known for attracting beneficial insects. Wear gloves and long clothing to avoid being “stung.” After the plant has been dried or cooked it no longer has a stinging effect. Be careful when harvesting stinging nettle. You see, about a month ago, I had been watching one of naturalist Adam Haritan’s thoroughly informative videos on stinging nettle. Stinging nettles grow practically everywhere: even in cities, it is often possible to find the plant growing in parks or gardens as a weed. When you are ready to harvest, take a digging knife with you in addition to gloves, long sleeves and trousers. For centuries, stinging nettles have been brewed into medicinal tea that naturally contains profuse amounts of biologically active compounds that improves general health. I’ll admit that it took a bit of work to go from a fear of stinging nettle to actively harvesting it to eat. Stinging nettle is a nutritious plant popular in herb gardens throughout the world. Harvest for eating before they are knee high. It’s no wonder that nettle has been used worldwide for centuries as a potent medicine, documented as far back as Ancient Greece. Start by cutting off the top of the plants so that you don't get stung right away. However expert harvesters explain that if you pinch the stem of the leaf tight enough, you do not get stung. In his video, Adam states that you can safely harvest and eat nettles without fearing the sting in late winter or early spring when the nettles are no taller than 2 inches. While harvesting stinging nettles can be unpleasant, it also teaches you to pay attention to your surroundings. A distant mint relative, stinging nettles are equally invasive and need to be sternly managed . The stem and leaf edges are covered in stinging hairs. Even the slightest brush up against it would leave me with an aching rash […] Fill a quart jar with nettle roots. Now that I have experience harvesting it, I know exactly what to look for (and you will too). Also Read: How to Harvest Stinging Nettle, Quick and Easy Pesto Pasta, Creamy Chicken & Stinging Nettle Pasta. The leaves are found growing in … They become more bitter after they flower and as they age. HOW TO HARVEST STINGING NETTLE. Let me know if it helps. Carefully harvest the fresh tender tops of stinging nettle plants. Some shade is ok, but these plants thrive when they have several hours of sunlight each day. Leaves to 6 inches long; usually long stinging … Possibly the easiest plant food to dry and save for later; jumping on the stinging nettle train. Thick gloves, a heavy jacket, tough jeans, and boots are a must. How To Harvest and Use Fresh Nettles: Stinging Nettles are a wonderful vegetable that tastes something like spinach. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition and is for informational purposes only. Stinging nettle; the name itself carries an ominous warning to those who might come in contact with it. How to Harvest Stinging Nettles. Then, use tongs to handle the nettles. Sounds a lot like basil pesto, doesn’t it? Harvesting Nettles. A plentiful supply of wild nettles that was fresh, nutritious and free. Pack into clean glass jars and completely cover with organic white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (or experiment with other vinegar types). Wild harvesting is a great way to affordably work with medicinal herbs while connecting with nature in the process.
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