Partner with other vegetables to round out and balance the flavour (e.g. Stinging nettle; the name itself carries an ominous warning to those who might come in contact with it. Nettles, as a wild food, have not been cultivated to produce varieties. Cut the plants off at ground level with pruning shears. Keep the gloves on while you’re preparing the nettles as well. At this point in its life-cycle, the nettle plant begins producing deposits of calcium carbonate (lime) called cystoliths. Whilst the sting doesn’t hurt as such, they are damn annoying! Avoid brown, mottled, or otherwise discolored leaves. There's some confusion and disagreement about the naming and validity of the various subspecies (or species), but for culinary purposes it's worth pointing out that all varieties have stinging hairs with the exception of the European 'fen nettle' (Urtica dioica galeopsifolia, sometimes called U. d. pubescens). It must be done in such a way as to break the hollow hairs or else they can sting you in the mouth. Resist the urge to reach in and stir them up because they can still sting you while they’re moist. If harvesting flowers, leave at least 2/3 for pollinators. Refrigerate any un-used portion. The top 2-3 leaf nodes are the best part to use for pickling. 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. If a creature makes its home there, choose another. Nettles are found throughout much of the cooler regions of the world. Thanks, – Chris, I am intending on making nettle pesto – if I make a large amount – once made – could this be frozen? Clip it near the ground. 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. On top of that, they'll sting more readily (and some say more painfully). Place the first 5 ingredients into your food processor and turn it on or pulse. Use rubber gloves or pinch the leaves hard, so you don’t get stung. Simply crush a leaf, rub it on and the sting is eliminated. I encourage you to do your research well by finding reputable and independent sources of information. Kim McKillip Chisholm is co-owner of Wolf Camp & School of Natural Science. When looking at a stinging nettle, you can see little hairs on the stem and leaves. Consider working with a respected herbalist or naturopathic physician in your area – someone who uses plants as medicine on a regular basis and knows from experience what they will and will not do. Serve with crackers, chopped vegetables or on pasta. Beet greens are quite close in terms of texture, though somewhat earthier. Once they've been cooked or dried they can no longer sting. My brother swears that mud does the trick for him. rheumatoid arthritis) across a variety of cultures. Now you can place the nettle in your collecting bag and continue harvesting. Stinging Nettle identification … Parts of this post were first published in May 2012, with additional text and photos added. We recommend that you consult with a qualified health care practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing or on any medications. Caution. Now I don’t know if every hair is hollow or if every hollow hair has acid associated with it. Then I run them under cold tap water to rinse away any dirt or debris and give them a last look before processing. Nettles can also be added directly to soups and stews, or even baked. You can tell they are ready to store in a glass jar when the stems snap. I cut some of my nettles back to move them a few weeks ago. If you’ve forgotten your scissors, you can harvest leaf by leaf (but that takes a long time). Stinging Nettle Identification and Harvest. I prefer to store and use them raw because many of the nutrients I want to ingest are lost to the water and thrown out when blanching. It has a fairly upright, non-spreading growth habit. Wear gloves, and wash the greens thoroughly. So I recently found a stand of nettles near my house that are some of the toughest, gnarliest, “stingiest” I have ever encountered. You’ll find that different remedies work for different people, so you may have to try a few to find what works for you. Puyallup, Nisqually & Snoqualmie ( adding them to lasagna, make pasta with them, which contain a of. It could be frozen to survive and thrive re moist, * * please read our harvesting! 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