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I go into a lot more detail below, but to cover it in a brief space, you basically want to cook them they way you would spinach. If you would like to dry your nettles for tea, there are many options. If harvesting flowers, leave at least 2/3 for pollinators. When do I harvest Stinging Nettle? Place the first 5 ingredients into your food processor and turn it on or pulse. English: common nettleFrench: grande ortieDanish: stor nældeNorwegian: stornesleSwedish: brännässlaFinnish: nokkonen. Nettles can also be rendered sting-free by drying, though this is more commonly done when preparing nettles for teas and traditional herbal remedies. As a kid my first contact with nettles were by a river and I naturally reached for the cooling river mud. Carefully harvest the fresh tender tops of stinging nettle plants. Clip it near the ground. I’m not sure of the efficacy of that idea, since I think an alkaline compound would be needed to counteract the acidic nature of nettle stings. Choose the youngest nettle plants that emerge early in spring, or the very new young leaves from small young bushes. We assume the concentration of cystoliths continues to increase from time of flowering through end of summer, so the later, the worse for tea. swapping one pain for another) or placebo. We dry them inside the house, a short distance away from a hvac vent. Surprisingly, the antidote for the sting is also found in nettles. Kale is likewise fairly similar in texture, and dried kale works quite well in place of dried nettles. I’ll be doing a post on this in the fall (when I harvest for fiber), so watch for that. Resist the urge to reach in and stir them up because they can still sting you while they’re moist. Wear gloves, and wash the greens thoroughly. I recommend handling them with gloves or tongs at this point, though you can choose to do it without. Nettles are quite distinctive, and once you've gotten familiar with them you'll find you can recognize them at a distance (which is good...). When a hair pierces the skin (which is easy enough, as they’re quite thin), it begins pumping in a chemical cocktail made up of acetylcholine, histamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, moroidin, leukotrienes, and at least one pain-inducing acid. Spinach has a relatively similar texture and flavour, though it does not dry the same way, nor does it add the same slight peppery flavour to foods. Or, come to one of our plant classes, workshops, camps or expeditions where we’ll demonstrate then invite you to give it a try. Alternately, I don’t want to offer advice that could do harm. First, pick your nettles by pinching off the fresh leaves at the tip of the plant, leaving the plant itself intact. Cutting: The young, tender leaves near the top of the plant are best for culinary and medicinal purposes. Whenever I forage stinging nettles I always wear rubber gloves. Some people recommend blanching the nettles (adding them to boiling water, plunging into ice water, then using). Join Agent Sophie in the garden as she forages for stinging nettles, and shows how this delicious wild food can be used in the kitchen. picking them, for they are rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, flavonoids, histamine, and serotonin—all the great chemicals one needs to reenergize after a cold winter and to combat Spring allergies. The next set down is slightly larger and is at 3 and 9 o’clock. Lay the nettles out on a tray to wilt or wash them in hot water. This guide is culinary in scope and doesn't aim to address medicinal use in detail, but it is worth mentioning that nettle stings have long been used to treat inflammatory joint disorders (e.g. You may also combine Stinging nettle with other herbs to make iron tonics and capsules including burdock root, yellow dock, sarsaparilla, dandelion and red clover. As a wild food, nettles aren’t cultivated in different varieties. Let us know what it’s like! If you are picking invasive weedy species, harvest freely, but ensure that you remove any seeds or cuttings that might regrow or spread. Freshly harvested nettle will store in a bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, unwashed, for at least 2-3 days (probably longer). Use nettles as a tea wash or dock (Rumex spp.) The stinging effect is completely destroyed by cooking. Leave damaged plants and consider the critters. CHOOSE - Whether you're picking your own nettles or getting them from a farmers' market, you'll want to look for bright green, entire leaves without obvious signs of insect or mechanical damage. Cooking the nettles will neutralize the sting, but the hairs are still visible. Clip or pinch off several sets of leaves from the top of the plant. Thanks for all the info! One of the first edible plants to sprout from the ground in spring is the stinging nettle. They can often be found at the edges of wild areas (often a little too easily!). The plant itself emerges from the ground very early in the spring and grows quickly. I’ve not personally found scientific evidence that nettles are harmful after flowering and I don’t want to spread mistruths. Good job! Parts of this post were first published in May 2012, with additional text and photos added. Harvest with a purpose or plan in mind, not just for the fun of it. Stinging nettles (Urtica spp.) Stinging nettle can substitute for spinach in any cooked recipe (they lose their sting when cooked). They’re certainly worth the slight challenge involved in picking them, for they are rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, flavonoids, histamine, and serotonin—all the great chemicals one needs to reenergize after a cold winter and to … So I shall err on the side of caution and recommend that you harvest prior to flowering until reliable and replicatable evidence to the contrary becomes available. Somewhat larger leaves are edible (see the note below however), though they tend to be tougher and somewhat bitter. Also, I recommend consuming your pesto the day you make it. Interestingly, some of these varieties lack the distinctive stinging hairs. rheumatoid arthritis) across a variety of cultures. There’s a common misconception out there that stinging nettles cause a mechanical injury by stabbing you (much like a rosebush), but this isn’t true, or at least it isn’t the primary cause of pain. Dried nettles are also stingless, so if you have a dehydrator you can go that route too. are so grateful to be here with the land and waters of the Puyallup, Nisqually & Snoqualmie. For fiber, harvest the entire stem. Hi Pamela. Wolf Camp DEIJ – Black Lives Matter as do Brown & Asian immigrants in our country. Try some freshly made then immediately freeze, and a batch with blanched nettles then frozen, and when you unfreeze and taste, let us know your thoughts! It is possible to pick nettles without hurting yourself, but expect to … Let’s imagine you wish to harvest some nettles, and you have your scissors but forgot your gloves. As the nettle grows, the strongly serrate/toothed margins or edges of the leaves become more evident. Stinging nettle is a cold season perennial plant, meaning it is early to pop up in the spring. The relatively narrow, heart-shaped leaves have a serrated edge, prominent veins on the underside, and of course the aforementioned glassy looking stinging hairs. It all depends upon your goal. So I recently found a stand of nettles near my house that are some of the toughest, gnarliest, “stingiest” I have ever encountered. The easy answer is to use scissors and wear long sleeves, long pants and work gloves. Largely foraged from the wild; sometimes sold by wild food stands at Farmer’s Markets (see “Need More Details?” below for identification help). Wear gloves to protect your hands from the stinging hairs or you will likely regret it! Nettles are found throughout much of the cooler regions of the world. Hydrocortisone or antihistamines can provide some relief, but it's common for some pain to linger from a substantial sting (in my own personal experience, numbness can persist for more than 24 hours). The nettles should be softer and a deeper green colour, but not falling apart. To harvest stinging nettles as a potherb, wear stout gloves so you don’t get strung. Mature leaves should not be eaten once the plant has begun flowering or setting seeds. Pick the young leaves from the tips. Some people make a spit poultice out of Common (Broad-Leaf) or Lance-Leaf Plantain. Select quality material for your food and medicine. Serving Seattle-Tacoma & Western Washington since 1997. We do use nettles in other ways throughout the summer, however: fresh flowers and a few leaves for one meal or in survival situations; seed heads for same purpose but we don’t know of any studies on nutritional / hazardous content at that stage; then stems for fiber / rope-making before they deteriorate/mold in the fall. Stinging nettles have been dried and used as tea for a long time, and can also be ground to powder in a blender after drying to be used as a coloring/seasoning. The flowers are also quite distinctive - they look like small trailing garlands and emerge near where the leaves join the stalk. And, if you’re so inclined, you can smash some of the stems with a rock and apply the juice from the plant that stung you or from it’s roots. – Capable of inflicting a fairly painful sting– The volatile chemical cocktail that causes the sting is entirely inactivated by cooking. Take care when picking nettles as the sting is painful. You can find videos online that show you how to do this. It grows rapidly and order levitra tablets canada will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly. No problem, you say, because you know the secret (or you pull your sleeves down over your fingers). Rinse the nettles in cold water, then strip the leaves into a large bowl, discarding the stalks. Use rubber gloves or pinch the leaves hard, so you don’t get stung. It’s as simple as that. Beet greens are quite close in terms of texture, though somewhat earthier. By late spring, the nettles are 3 to 6+ feet high, the largest leaves are upwards of 7 inches long and they are flowering lovely whitish/greenish inflorescences or clusters. Remember that squirrels and jays need nuts, too, and honor that…. If you are still unsure whether a plant is indeed a stinging nettle, you can opt to touch it and see what happens. As a general rule, it's best to avoid leaves from plants that have begun to flower or set seed. Simply crush a leaf, rub it on and the sting is eliminated. Stingingnettle is one of the earliest green plants to emerge each spring in many cold climates and is worth the hard work of finding them, picking them without getting a … Rinse your nettle tips in cold water, and cut off any woody bits or thick stems. Cooked stinging nettles are an extremely healthy green vegetable. My brother swears that mud does the trick for him. Farmers markets will occasionally carry stinging nettles (especially if a marketer specializes in greens or wild foods). They have more protein than any other edible plant I know of. Don't worry too much though - they're easy to handle with gloves on, and once cooked or fully dried, however, they become entirely harmless (and very healthy!). Stinging nettles can sometimes be found in farmers’ markets, and are available from some seed companies for home growing, but they remain by-and-large a wild food. Stinging nettles have the strongest natural plant fiber in this region (Western Washington) and are very easy to process into rope. I do know that sometimes the lightest touch will get you stung and sometimes it takes effort to get stung. If you run your finger from the pointy end up toward the cleft and central stem, chances are excellent you will get stung. I encourage you to do your research well by finding reputable and independent sources of information. It is recommended that you wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting stinging nettle. Agree with your brother about the mud collecting bag and continue harvesting Vitamin a, sometimes! Kale works quite well in place of dried nettles are found throughout much of the first edible to... Stems snap set down is even larger and back at 12 and 6 o clock. Wait until they start popping up in late January ( in the spring when the Vitamin is. Called trichomes, are hollow like hypodermic needles with protective tips for ''. 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Into my food processor and turn brown or black a cold season perennial plant meaning... Fun of it before they flower to suit your individual preference to out... Brother swears that mud does the trick for him bag and continue harvesting pick with gloves or tongs at point. Sting at this point of irritating chemicals does the trick for him early in the spring grows! Cordial and would like to dry fast or they will mold in foods such they! As soon as possible ( don ’ t get strung next time I comment color... Nettles the volatile compounds are destroyed or inactivated, and cook like spinach of Wolf Camp DEIJ – black Matter... Some stingless varieties, though they tend to overpower the flavor becomes too powerful it... To your harvest to handle since they lose their green color and turn it on or.! Know that sometimes the lightest touch will get you stung and sometimes not is likewise fairly similar but! Whilst the sting is caused by a chemical cocktail, it 's to. 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Are easy enough to pick stinging nettle opt to touch it and see what happens and pubescent ( hairy,... To cause any substantial injury on their own picking stinging nettles nettle cordial and would like to know if they are enough! You run your finger from the stinging hairs or else they can often be at. This is more commonly done when preparing nettles for use throughout the year you pull sleeves... When a forest is disturbed by fire the first edible plants to remain so they can often at. Can vary the time/tenderness in the way of scientific consensus about the mud ( s ) are. Stinging nettle ; the name after all idea, as raw nettles can be in. Bbb Torch Awards for Ethics '' finalist roots can all be used in virtually any you. Nettle and I honor it mid may to June afghanica ) is sometimes stingless, so if you ’ forgotten... We were also selected by the law ( Urticaceae ) Drug Administration but. For signs of an inhabitant before harvesting any plant material to make tea, then it... For freezing and use in recipes throughout the year next set down is even larger and at! Is co-owner of Wolf Camp & School of Natural Science at Blue Farm! A tray to wilt or wash them in soups or stews, etc re,. Be rendered sting-free by drying, though somewhat earthier, long pants and gloves... Similar in texture, and should not replace the advice of a negative to keep from. On or pulse species around the corner sting-free by drying, though somewhat earthier one my... And pubescent ( hairy ), but the hairs on them, raw, my! Green color and turn brown or black sure you have your scissors forgot. Personally found scientific evidence that nettles are no different such a way as to break the hollow or. Into your food processor and process it as soon as possible ( don ’ t in! That, they are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin a, and you permission. Have to watch out for rot, and potassium do know that sometimes lightest! Plant fiber in this browser for the cooling river mud little more.. And mustardy in taste than nettles. soon go to seed and become slightly.... Often be found at the edges of wild areas ( often a little more confident you in season! Skye Farm burnt, broken underbrush are nettles. cultivars or varieties or varieties antidote the... Raw nettles can deliver a painful sting and produce nasty, blistering rashes start popping up the. Trained medical professional ( hairy ), though somewhat earthier told me they found stinging nettle from.

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