Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Drying Stinging Nettle

I came home from a friend's house on Sunday with a box full of nettle - such fun to pick wild food with a friend on a sunny day. The timing is perfect as my supply of dried nettle from last year has almost run out. I use it daily for a nourishing infusion and go through quite a bit.
Yesterday I put the first batch into my solar dryer to dry quickly. I'll also do some in some brown paper bags since there isn't enough room for it all in the dryer and then take some to a friend for her to juice.
And some will be eaten cooked in pasta sauce too, this is a lovely green to eat until our own Lamb's quarter is ready to pick. I love this time of year when there are so many wild greens coming to life.


sheila said...

I want nettles! How do I get them, Heather? Do I go wandering in the nettle beds, um, I mean the woods and look for them? (guess I should direct these questions to a wild forage book but it's easier directing them to your blog)

Jess said...

you are so handy! I feel nervous at the idea of eating nettles - I've only had a run in with them that left me feeling aflame.
good for you for turning them into food!

nettlejuice said...

I am loving all the nettle posts lately. She is really a cherished plant for so many.

Have you seen my nettle post?
I talk about harversting without gloves.

Hmmm, a solar dryer....

affectioknit said...

That looks great! How do you pick them without getting 'stung'...

Sue said...

Your blog makes me happy!Thanks Sue

Heather said...

Hi Shelia, I would imagine there would be lots growing in the wild around your area (I think they like the damp) ;-). Are there any old-timers or garden club members around you could ask? Or are there any farm fields nearby you? There might be some there. Are you planning on using them for a fertilizer tea for your plants?

Hi Jess - the "stings" disappear once the nettles are cooked or dried. I just wore gloves to pick them and put them out for drying and was careful not to let my bare legs brush up against them. Nettle infusion (made from dried nettles) is such a nourishing drink for women that I love having lots of dry nettle on hand. I hope you'll give them another chance. :-)

Hi Affectiknit - I just wear my gardening gloves when we pick them. The gloves have that sort of rubbery coating on them so the nettle doesn't sting me.

Hi Nettlejuice - I'll have a look at your post. I have read how to pick nettle without getting stung - probably in a Susun Weed book - but I haven't tried it. Thanks for your link.

Thanks Sue. Now that's a compliment. :-)