If harvesting flowers, leave at least 2/3 for pollinators. This washing process by itself will remove much of the sting from the nettles. 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’s possible to just nibble of a few seeds as we are out walking or working, for a quick boost, or we can gather and process them into our own superfood products. For food and medicine, harvest in the spring BEFORE they “flower” unless it’s a survival situation, because once they flower they develop a cystolith that’s damaging to the liver and kidneys. Then I run them under cold tap water to rinse away any dirt or debris and give them a last look before processing. Your email address will not be published. Now I don’t know if every hair is hollow or if every hollow hair has acid associated with it. These clusters will soon go to seed and become slightly brown. You can also prepare nettle root tea and nettle seed tea. If you have room, consider a nettle patch, the perfect breeding ground for butterflies and home for the early nettle aphid, which bring ladybugs. Resist the urge to reach in and stir them up because they can still sting you while they’re moist. Nettle has a beneficial effect, strengthening and revitalizing the hair. I harvest the tender tops (usually 4-6 leaves or 2-3 leaf sets) for food. CAREFUL NOW. If they’ve begun to flower, you’ve waited too long. Wait approximately 14 days for proof of germination. 1 in 20 rule. So I recently found a stand of nettles near my house that are some of the toughest, gnarliest, “stingiest” I have ever encountered. I toss them, raw, into my food processor and process until finely chopped. It just takes a quick glance to notice that the tip has been chewed, is slightly blackened or there is frass (waste material from plant-eating insects) visible. Stinging Nettle identification of this bountiful wild edible is quick and easy. Nettle seeds need light to germinate, so you should use a small amount of soil to cover them. (Looking to pick up Stinging Nettle seeds? Simple method of drying and grinding into tea leaves. You should leave roughly one inch of space between each plant. For drying/preserving for tea, it’s best to wait until they start popping up in late winter / early spring. – Chris, Your email address will not be published. As the nettle grows, the strongly serrate/toothed margins or edges of the leaves become more evident. You can take 1 to 2 tablespoons a day. The internet boasts many medicinal uses for stinging nettle which may or may not be true. Overview - Stinging Nettle’s has a remarkable ability to rebuild and restore. In the image below you’ll see two nettle plants that appear to both be covered in seeds. If not, then perhaps you could consult a field guide such as Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar and MacKinnon (the best field guide, bar none, for this region). Now you can place the nettle in your collecting bag and continue harvesting. The first time I harvested the seeds I ignored Henriette’s advice and, like many a young herbalist who disregards the voice of experience and wisdom, I came a-cropper. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the washed leaves to the pot. However, clinical trials are limited. Others crush and apply Yellow Dock leaves or rub the welt/sting with the spores on the under side of Sword Fern leaves. Peat pots work great for I like to harvest nettles for rope-making after they’ve gone to seed (this allows for propagation) and prior to heavy rains that will cause the stems to rot. To dilute it into a usable fertilizer, mix 1 part brewed nettle tea to 10 parts water.. Do you need it? Do you know if they are still safe to eat? Nettle seeds can be made into a tincture, macerate them in 40% ethanol or infuse them in vinegar (ratio 1:5 - seeds: liquid). Wait approximately 14 days for proof of germination. 5-6 packed cups raw stinging nettle (you can choose to wash or not), 3/4 c parmesan – grated (the food processor will take care of it, too, if you wish to throw in a chunk instead), 1/2 c toasted pine nuts (or nut of choice), Extra Virgin Olive oil to preferred consistency (approx. No scientific study on that so far, but intuitively, like you mention, I have always used super stingy/deep green ones more for drying for medicinal/tonic tea, and normal ones for food. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add a few pinches of salt. Once they’re dry, they are much safer to handle since they lose the ability to sting. If you would like to dry your nettles for tea, there are many options. If you’ve forgotten your scissors, you can harvest leaf by leaf (but that takes a long time). Make sure that all of the leaves are separated from the stalks. It is best not to harvest stinging nettle once the seeds form. Nettle seeds in cases from the female plant - looking like bishops mitres. After the retting process nettle stored for a year or more is easier to process off stalk( thr most time consuming part) then freshly harvested. I … If using them right away, I’ll often lay them out on a clean surface or in a colander for a few minutes to allow critters a moment to escape. Put on your gloves, and begin looking for tender young plants. ***, *** Please read our Honorable Harvesting Guidelines  (see above) before harvesting any plant material. 1/4 to 1/2 cup). Nettles can be foraged, landing on high-end menus, and brewed as beer. Thanks, – Chris. I’ve spoken to many women who have chosen to use nettle herb instead of iron supplements in the early stages of pregnancy to increase their iron levels. All you’ve done is press them flat against the leaf where they cannot poke you. Nettle is one of those magical plants that gives us more than the effort we put into harvesting it. Nettle seed is a standard botanical and is commonly found as an ingredient in tinctures and other herbal preparations. You’ll find that different remedies work for different people, so you may have to try a few to find what works for you. Questions? Call us at 425-248-0253 or send an email anytime. eczema). Serving Seattle-Tacoma & Western Washington since 1997. After boiling the water and brew the roots for 4-5 minutes and drink cold. 7. You’ll see that the soaking water … When diluted to 10 or 20%, it makes a nitrogen and iron-rich fertilizer, which stimulates micro-organisms in the soil. sow seeds in the fall nettle will pop up when it is best for nettle and maybe I'll try a one two punch, bury some rut and throw some seed! The fermenting process only takes around three weeks and it only needs a good stir every second day. Some people experiment with nettle seed for recreation but I advise against exceeding this amount. Location: zone 7 . Stinging nettle is protected by needle-like projections that easily inject irritating substances into the skin. Harvest only as much as you will use and process it as soon as possible (don’t waste it). Nettle tolerates soil with a wide range of pH levels. You can vary the time/tenderness in the future to suit your individual preference. Your nettles will be ready to harvest between 80-90 days from seed. We assume the concentration of cystoliths continues to increase from time of flowering through end of summer, so the later, the worse for tea. If you’re wearing gloves, grasp the base in one hand and run your other hand from base to tip in order to strip off the leaves. 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. If you would like to use nettles for food or tea, then harvest them before they flower. You can also hang them to dry, use a dehydrator or be creative with your method. I’ll be doing a post on this in the fall (when I harvest for fiber), so watch for that. 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. Here are a few fresh ideas for preparing your spring harvest: Freelance food writer who specializes in Scandinavian cuisine and is the author of "The Everything Nordic Cookbook.". That’s why I recommend cooking until crisp – so you feel a little more confident. When you select your leaf and pinch it, look at the location of the nearby leaves before you pull it from the stem. So, look around and you can usually find some that are harvestable where others are not. Experiment and you will find a way that works best for you and your family. Cover the starter trays or pots with a plastic dome or plastic wrap to help keep the moisture high. Or, come to one of our plant classes, workshops, camps or expeditions where we’ll demonstrate then invite you to give it a try. Once nettle has gone to seed, the leaves will become tough, a little bitter and develop gritty particles that may irritate the urinary tract of some people. Chop the leaves and use them as a garnish, sprinkling over salads, sauces or egg dishes, much as you would with parsley or cilantro. Compared to many other seeds, nettle seeds are soft and could be eaten just like that but are better mixed in for example smoothies, yogurt and porridge. Offer appreciation and bring positive energy to your harvest. Best to harvest for fiber in summer and early fall. How to Use Stinging Nettle Tea as Fertilizer Nettle tea is very potent, and therefore needs to be watered down before using it to feed other plants in your garden. It’s as simple as that. And, it’s certainly not enough of a negative to keep me from harvesting and enjoying these amazing plants. Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.) It’s possible to just nibble of a few seeds as we are out walking or working, for a quick boost, or we can gather and process them into our own superfood When the seeds have sprouted, thin them out. SAVING SEEDS : NOTE Do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding without consulting your doctor. Do i wait till the fall to harvest for tea and can i use the stems and leaves? Nettles (Urtica dioica) are in season at the moment, last year I was too late for this but today I'm making nettle beer with the first green growth.There are a lot of these free weeds around me, and dandelions (Taraxacum officinale).Also brewing about the same time was brucedenney There are many recipes which use nettles, but as far as I've looked they recommend young nettle tops, i.e. Nettle seeds are suitable for children. The plant on the left is the male, and the clusters you see on the male plant are flowers. Sometimes I like to freeze my nettles for use throughout the year. Please do not put them directly into a salad or you and your guests will be in for an unpleasant surprise. Careful not to touch!. However, nettle seeds are only on the female plant on the right. Due to its beneficial properties, and its 100% ecological solution, Gea Seeds suggests nettle slurry for growing development and maintenance.What properties does nettle slurry have? Leave damaged plants and consider the critters. If starting the seeds indoors, freeze the herb seeds for several weeks before sowing the Stinging Nettle seeds. Harvesting Nettle Greens. The final guideline is of utmost importance:  “Never put anything in your mouth unless you are 100% sure it is safe to ingest.” ***. Discover fermented stinging nettle tea, an excellent fertilizer for plants in both gardens and vegetable patches, and an amazing pest control agent for most parasites like aphids. Its a small price to pay for the privilege of working with this useful and prolific fiber . Check the undersides of the leaves to make sure there is no white spittle present. In the 16th century nettle seed was crushed and then soaked in wine, you can also infuse the crushed seeds in vinegar. That’s because it is very much like basil pesto, you basically just replace the basil with blanched stinging nettle (blanching it removes the stinging). I recommend handling them with gloves or tongs at this point, though you can choose to do it without. And btw, I agree with your brother about the mud. The ice-water bath stops the cooking process and locks in a beautiful green color. If you’re not concerned about a little dirt or extra protein, then they’re fine to use as is. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) and the stingless nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) are all sources of fibres.First Nations used it to produce cordage. Some people make a spit poultice out of Common (Broad-Leaf) or Lance-Leaf Plantain. We are so grateful to be here with the land and waters of the Puyallup, Nisqually & Snoqualmie. Since my last post on harvesting nettle seeds I've had a couple of emails asking me for more specific details about how and when to harvest. I put mine in a paper bag or cardboard box in front of my furnace and let the warm, blowing air do the job. In this article we are going to focus on nettle roots. Nettle can be eaten as a nutrient-dense food, woven into cloth, applied to the skin, drunk … read more "How to Harvest & Process Stinging Nettle" Fortunately, individual plants will often be at different reproductive stages depending on their location, substrate, overstory, etc. Harvesting Stinging Nettle Seeds on How to Grow a Garden with Scarlett - Duration: 3:35. It will also attract birds that feast on nettle seeds. My #1 go-to plant to stop the sting is Jewelweed. Let’s imagine you wish to harvest some nettles, and you have your scissors but forgot your gloves. A perennial Weed that grows in moist places, along roadsides, and in vacant lots. To gather the seeds, cut the nettle tops when the seeds are nearly ripe. Drop the leaves into a sink or bowl of warm water and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Here's a bit from A Weaver's Garden by Rita Buchanan about preparing nettle fibre (paraphrased). Stinging nettle, or Urtica dioica, is a common plant that grows in the United States, Canada, and Europe.It primarily grows in damp, fertile soil. Hi Chris! If you’re close to home, you can apply aloe vera gel, make and apply a paste of baking soda and water, apple cider vinegar, Desitin (diaper rash cream), tooth paste, etc. Nettle seeds for planting may be purchased from nurseries or, where permitted, seeds may be taken, using gloved hands, from nettles growing wild. Some believe that at this stage the nettles form cystoliths or calcium concretions (aka bladder stones) that are bad for the urinary tract. If you want to grow some, these seed heads will provide hundreds of seeds. Powered by WordPress and Stargazer. Nettle stalks contain one of the strongest fibers known and it has been widely used for cordage and cloth in many cultures. And be mindful of the larger lower leaves that sneak out and get you on the wrist as you’re watching out for the wily upper leaves. The stem and underside of leaves are covered in small hairs that deliver a sting loaded with formic acid that can irritate skin for several hours or up to 2 or 3 days. I’ve not personally found scientific evidence that nettles are harmful after flowering and I don’t want to spread mistruths. Nature retting- harvesting after rains or snows- is better done in colder drier places the n the damp coast climate where i live. Serve with crackers, chopped vegetables or on pasta. Nettle seeds it turns out are great for skin and hair, and for supporting the kidneys and strengthening the adrenals. I’ll never forget the time I found out Matt was eating entire meals of wild edible plants. Had a look at your site to see what my options were besides the usual tea I make and how to harvest so they keep producing well for us. The nettle fertilizer is a powerful product, so it’ll need to be diluted before use. Learn how to identify, harvest, prepare, and eat this vitamin packed powerhouse! Apart from the fact that nettles do sting, nettles are a wonderful ingredient to use in soups, pasta dishes, frittatas—basically in any cooked dish where you would use young spinach. If you run your finger from cleft to point, you will not get stung and you will impress your friends. Nettle grows and spreads by stolons, which form a network of yellow, lateral, creeping rhizomes. Nettles are ready to harvest for fiber in August when the plants are tall, seeds are forming, and the new growth begins to come up from the rootzone. Stinging nettle has an erect, squarish stem and serrated, simple, pointed, ovate leaves that are arranged in opposite pairs. Make sure that your arms and legs are well-covered, including your wrists and ankles. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It can live in soil from 5.0 to 8.0. For fiber, harvest the entire stem. b) Dissolve the chocolate in a water bath. Beware the smaller upper leaves that dangle down and zap the top of your hand. Nettle seed are so packed with nutrients that one teaspoon a day is enough. Each leaf has a twin on the opposite side of the erect central stem and they’re arranged such that one pair is in the 12 and 6 o’clock positions. Lift them from the bath and spread them out onto a clean dishtowel or paper towels, and pat them dry. If a creature makes its home there, choose another. To make the saute, melt a little butter, Smart Balance or heat your oil of choice in a skillet. Long-sleeve work shirt or jacket, jeans, sturdy shoes, Celebrate spring with a beautiful, green, delicately fresh. The fermenting process only takes around three weeks and it only needs a good stir every second day. Refrigerate any un-used portion. Alternately, I don’t want to offer advice that could do harm. If you run your finger from the pointy end up toward the cleft and central stem, chances are excellent you will get stung. Stinging nettle pesto is a green sauce/condiment/paste made with garlic, salt, Parmesan, walnuts, oil and blanched stinging nettle. Immediate relief! The seeds of nettle contain essential fatty acids Omega 3 oils and are used by herbalists to support kidney and adrenal function and as a boost when over worked adrenals impacts on energy levels. Infuse Italian or Greek dishes as you would with spinach: nettles are great for adding to fillings or making colorful pasta. I decided to just hang them dry outside, but now I’m seeing that wasn’t the best method as they’ve got the little brown bits. They’re packed with nitrogen; a strong nettle tea can boost your garden. Allow the biggest and best plants to remain so they can continue to propagate the healthiest population. They are adaptogens ie they help you adapt to stress, and are loaded with minerals and trace elements. Then I put them into freezer-safe containers and store until I need them. Toss in your nettles (I leave the stems on if tender, or I saute with tough stems and cut them off prior to serving), saute until crisp (your first time), add salt and pepper to taste, then enjoy. Online recipes abound. Nettle seed can be made into a tincture. Nettle is used to activating hair growth, against hair loss, to add shine and splendor .Back in ancient times, doctors recommended rubbing the juice of nettle seeds in your head to slow down the process of baldness. You can tell they are ready to store in a glass jar when the stems snap. And as late summer turns to autumn, the leaves will wither and fall and the stems will turn from green to brown to whitish/gray as they overwinter. Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years as a diuretic (to rid the body of excess fluids.) Harvest the nettles by cutting off only the upper leaves (no larger than about 3” wide). Clip it near the ground. Nettles are used in hair rinses, conditioners, shampoos and hair care products. Nettle herb is a somewhat plain-looking plant, but if you happen to brush by a one it will jump out and demand your attention. A bag of nettle leaves. This can be rather alarming when eating them for the first few times. When the seeds have sprouted, thin them out. I set the timer so i can report back how long it takes with this process…. I’ve found this works like a charm with most damp mud. Thanks, – Chris, I am intending on making nettle pesto – if I make a large amount – once made – could this be frozen? (Taraxacum Officinale). Transfer the blanched leaves to the ice water, and stir. You’ll notice the first leaves emerging from snow or soil in late January (in the Pacific Northwest). Nettle seed is used therapeutically both as freshly picked seed and as fresh nettle seed tincture. are so grateful to be here with the land and waters of the Puyallup, Nisqually & Snoqualmie. Cooking the nettles will neutralize the sting, but the hairs are still visible. That’s a great question. Copyright © 2020 Wolf Camp & School of Natural Science at Blue Skye Farm. Part of this comes from the fact that it is intensely nutritive, being dense with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Leave Grandmother. The Easiest Way to Harvest and Preserve Fresh Grape Leaves, 5 Delicious Ways to Cook Stinging Nettles, Blanching in Cooking and Food Preservation, What Are Dandelions? Find a good stand of nettles well away from roadsides (where they are at risk of being sprayed with chemicals or contaminated by car emissions). I need to get the pods off them so all those seeds down not germinate next season. The key is that the hairs on the leaves all aim from the cleft or top of the leaf to the point or bottom of the leaf. The next set down is slightly larger and is at 3 and 9 o’clock. Seal tightly with a lid and place in a dark location, such as a pantry. I believe they are flowering now. Nettle is one of those magical plants that gives us more than the effort we put into harvesting it. apart. If you're gathering them, dry them first … Slowly add olive oil until it reaches your desired consistency. Make sure you have permission from the land owner(s) and abide by the law. Seed uses. My favorite ways to eat nettles are:  a simple saute, steamed on top of sauteed veggies or a raw pesto. It can be used to treat bladder infection symptoms, like the constant urge to urinate. Nettle grass I find that the flavor becomes too powerful if it sits overnight. Thanks for all the info! Collect the nettles in a plastic bag. The final guideline is of utmost importance:  “Never put anything in your mouth unless you are 100% sure it is safe to ingest.” ***, May You Live In Interesting Times: Stinging Nettle – Charm City Edibles, How to Grow Stinging Nettle for Food – Insel Lyr Farm. Chew 5-20 grams of fresh green nettle seed well, as a refreshing stimulant. However, the hairs are still there and can be irritating to the skin or give you a sliver if you’re not careful. Seeds of fiber nettle can be drilled as a method of sowing, but the high degree of heterozygosity of the parents leads to a heterogeneous F1. Freshly harvested nettle will store in a bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, unwashed, for at least 2-3 days (probably longer). Our Virtual Outdoor Camps were featured in the New York Times on July 6, 2020 and check out how we exceeded standards for in-person summer camp protocols during the pandemic era. Stinging nettles have the strongest natural plant fiber in this region (Western Washington) and are very easy to process into rope. If you have room, consider a nettle patch, the perfect breeding ground for butterflies and home for the early nettle aphid, which bring ladybugs. Voila, no sting, because you know the hairs don’t point straight out, they angle down the leaf. (7) Once completing their after-ripening process, seeds should be warm Back in ancient times, doctors recommended rubbing the juice of nettle seeds in your head to slow down the process of baldness.

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