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eating nettles - (video on harvesting)  RSS feed

 
                            
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Very interesting.  I'm going to have to harvest some this year.  I have quite a few patches on my property.  Does anybody have thoughts on how to increase patch size or create new ones?
 
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Budro wrote:
Very interesting.  I'm going to have to harvest some this year.  I have quite a few patches on my property.  Does anybody have thoughts on how to increase patch size or create new ones?



They will reproduce from underground runners without any effort on your part. Also from seed.

In the spring you can move any plants that are in the way and replant them anywhere you want. I haven't tried it, but you could probably bend the plant over in the spring and bury the stem just below the tops (leave the tip top sticking up)... I am pretty sure it will start a new plant where ever the base of the leaves are all along the stem.
If you mulch around the plant (anything like leaves cardboard, rugs, dried grass, bark, lumber) it will throw off runners in all directions around the plant  under the mulch and you can move the mulch and add dirt and get plants to come up all over the place from the runners.

In the fall or late summer, when the leaves get to tough to eat, you can get them to reproduce by rolling a log over the plant causing the log to rest near the tops of the plant. Then throw dirt over the plant (leave the top uncovered just cover the middle of the plant). It will re-root all over the place. I've done this in the fall. You more than double the number of plants by next spring. Mulch around plants in the winter too and in the spring move the mulch and you will be able to see little plants that you can cover with a little dirt and get many new plants.
 
                            
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ronie wrote:
They will reproduce from underground runners without any effort on your part. Also from seed.



Awesome information!  Thanks!
 
pollinator
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i just take a stem with a piece of root on it, plant it where i like and next season theres a nettle patch.
 
master pollinator
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My favorite way of eating greens which should work for nettles as well:

Green Soup

Large bunch greens, chopped fine
1 onion, chopped
Chicken stock
olive oil or other oil of your preference

Saute onion in oil, add greens, cover with stock, boil until tender, puree in food processor, thin with more stock if necessary.  Enjoy!
 
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The wikipedia article says that just soaking nettles in water will turn the stingers off...
 
ronie dee
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travis laduke wrote:
The wikipedia article says that just soaking nettles in water will turn the stingers off...



Wow it sure does. And i thought that i had discovered something. I'm going to disagree with the way it's worded though:
"Soaking nettles in water or cooking will remove the stinging chemicals from the plant, which allows them to be handled and eaten without incidence of stinging." (wiki.)

The way that Travis worded it is better, as the exact stinging chemical is still in dispute and the chemical(s) would probably have to be water soluble in order to be, "...removed from the plant,"  in cool water. The heat of cooking might alter the chemicals or extract the stinging chemical into the water.

So i still think that the water soak turns the needle like hairs limp, and the limp hairs can't deliver a sting as they do when they are stiff.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks Ludi ,  I love chicken stock with nettles. I've never tried them quite like your recipe though,. Sounds delicious. I'm glad i have a gallon of dried nettles as i am getting hungry for a batch of nettles. Come on Spring!
 
ronie dee
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One year i put an old carpet in the walk way in my garden to keep the weeds from growing. During the winter and the spring nettles put out rhizomes all under the rug. The rhizomes are a delicate treat and they make new plants too. So I think that  one could place a mulch around the base of their nettle patch and have these rhizomes as a late winter or early spring treat. (The rhizomes searched out and found  holes in the carpet and started new plants through the holes.)

Here's the wiki pic, of the base of the nettle plant, that shows the rhizomes:

Grote_brandnetel_rhizomen_(Urtica_dioica).jpg
[Thumbnail for Grote_brandnetel_rhizomen_(Urtica_dioica).jpg]
 
master steward
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Little kids eating raw nettles!  This is an amazing video all the way through. 


 
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This thread makes me incredibly happy  .
 
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paul wheaton wrote:
Little kids eating raw nettles!  This is an amazing video all the way through. 



Amazing, yes! Kids eating nettles and oxalis and knowing about using dock on the nettle stings--all things I want to learn more about! Thanks for posting it!
 
ronie dee
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Dock has always worked good for me, but then the sting doesn't bother me much anyway - don't itch it and it goes numb in a few seconds. (Anything to just cool the sting will work good - spritz with alcohol, hold cool metal on the sting, ice, mud - just cool the sting and/or ignore it for a minute.)

This winter had a lot of cold but there was a lot of snow cover.  After a week of nice warm weather, yesterday I decided to check for some early spring nettles. I looked around last years brown nettle stems and found some 2 inch green nettles growing... There wasn't enough for cooking up a batch, but I sure enjoyed some raw leaves... Those first early leaves sure are good.
 
T. Joy
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We use this "weed" to take out the sting, plaintain.
http://www.weedinfo.ca/media/jpg/plama_topside_leaf.jpg
I don't know if dock grows around here.
 
ronie dee
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craftylittlemonkey wrote:
We use this "weed" to take out the sting, plaintain.
http://www.weedinfo.ca/media/jpg/plama_topside_leaf.jpg
I don't know if dock grows around here.



Yep - I was going to add plantain as my favorite cure - well plantain is my favorite cure for everything.
 
Jordan Lowery
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great video paul, those little kids know there stuff, imagine there knowledge if they keep this up until they are adults.
 
paul wheaton
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More on nettles: http://www.richsoil.com/nettles.jsp
 
                                    
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anyone had wood nettles?  sameul thayer who has written a couple of foraging books says wood nettles taste better than stinging nettles and the texture isn't quite as...unusual...
 
                          
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I just ate stinging nettles for the first time, because of this thread! 

I never knew you could eat them.  I grew up with them everywhere in the local woods, and just thought of them as the little nasty demons of the forest.  Now I know they are good for something, I don't have to hate them so much.

My boys enjoyed foraging for nettles with me.  We're all still pretty nervous about being stung, though.  I remember getting blistering rashes from nettles as a child.  But it was fun to see the boys eating the cooked nettles, and proclaiming them good!

I'm sure they must have a TON of fiber, too.  Not only quite filling, but also very cleansing. 

I'll be nettle-hunting again before long!
 
Jordan Lowery
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Now I know they are good for something, I don't have to hate them so much.



there not just good for something, there good for a whole boat load of things.

this book might interest you
http://www.amazon.com/Uses-Stinging-Nettles-Piers-Warren/dp/095418999X
 
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Anyone know how to tell the difference between Urtica dioica and Urtica urens?  I'm looking at pictures on wikipedia and they look pretty darn similar.  I have some type of stinging nettle in my raspberry patch.  Last year it was a small little patch, this year it seems to have spread everywhere haha.  I harvested a bunch last night for tea and steamed greens. 
 
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We started some stinging nettles this year from seed and I recently transplanted the seedlings around an oak tree in the woods behind our home.  Hopefully next year I will be harvesting some and starting to learn to make use of them.

http://pathtosustainableliving.com/2011/guerrilla-gardening-with-stinging-nettles/
 
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Dead Nettle is not like Stinging Nettle at all, it's actually in the Mint family! I think it looks more like Ground Ivy than SI anyway.
 
Jordan Lowery
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yumm

http://honest-food.net/veggie-recipes/greens-and-herbs/nettle-ravioli-northern-italian-style/
 
                              
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Can nettles still be harvested for tea after they flower? or will the tough crystals in the leaves be irritating...
 
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Near the end of summer the tiny brown seeds which grow together in bunches, can be picked and eaten raw or cooked as a high protien ingredient, they have a nice nutty taste. I think they could even be lightly roasted and used in a hot beverage much like a coffee bean... though I've not tried that yet.
 
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so im a loser and didn't read the whole thread but if i remember nettles also make great companion plants and i believe they put silicone into the soil, which is a nute that causes plants to build a much stronger immune system, of course this is all from memory so it could be a lil bit off, or completely accurate:)
 
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Hope I'm posting this in the proper place.

Hello nettle eaters,
I just collected some nettle leaves in the hills around where I live in Southern California. I've been reading how you shouldn't eat nettles when they are flowering. It seemed like all the nettle plants I picked showed early early signs of flowering....little buds under the leaf groups (definitely nothing like the ones in total bloom like the photos I've been seeing online). The plants were also not too big...I'd say around six inches in height with leaves a little bigger than quarters. (I have no pictures )
What should I do? (please, please, please tell me they are ok to eat)

Thanks!
 
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Chelle Lewis wrote: I have heard but never tried....

Nettles can be used as a substitute for rennet in cheesemaking

Chelle



Yes, I've used nettles successfully to start off soft goats' cheese.

Nettle quiche is very nice (or frittata).

Interested to hear the wood nettle tastes different from the regular nettle. This is the best time of year for harvesting them (UK anyway), just as the new growth is coming.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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So happy to have found a HUGE, untended field of nettles for picking!

Here's the pics from today. Going back with friends next weekend--hopefully they'll still be below knee height then. It's supposed to be in the 40's (Fahrenheit) most of the week.
nettle-harvest.jpg
[Thumbnail for nettle-harvest.jpg]
nettles-in-the-bag.jpg
[Thumbnail for nettles-in-the-bag.jpg]
 
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T. Joy wrote:This thread makes me incredibly happy  .

me too those children are gorgeous. made me feel happy watching them. what great parents and what lucky children . wish i had some youngsters with me on a forage,in fact anyone, im always on my lonesome. . Think my family think im a bit odd cos i like to look for free food. I wouldnt be any other way. c
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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carolyn kenny wrote:

T. Joy wrote:This thread makes me incredibly happy  .

me too those children are gorgeous. made me feel happy watching them. what great parents and what lucky children . wish i had some youngsters with me on a forage,in fact anyone, im always on my lonesome. . Think my family think im a bit odd cos i like to look for free food. I wouldnt be any other way. c



Carolyn, most of my family aren't interested in going out either, but I did give away some nettles for Easter and folks were really pleased to receive them.

Three friends and my teen-aged son were with me at our second nettle harvest last month. My son explored around while harvesting to see how the nettles had a different appearance and size in different growing conditions. It was joyous to have his quiet company as well as to see him learning useful, healthy things.

We were right next to a busy pedestrian path and a nice couple stopped to pleasantly inquire what we were doing. It thrilled me to no end to explain to them about nettles. I guess I'm easily pleased.
 
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Leah Sattler wrote:I'm going to have to look into this a bit. does any one have a good link for identifiying the edible nettle. The plants I grew up knowing as "nettle" don't look anything like the ones in the video.



I now what you mean. I only know of Bull Nettle. It looks different. Is it also edible
 
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