Harvesting nettle can prove a bit tricky. Let me know if it helps. Where ever you live, there are many medicinal herbs that grow wildly in both rural and urban areas, including Stinging Nettle. What is Stinging Nettle Pesto. The top 2-3 leaf nodes are the best part to use for pickling. A distant mint relative, stinging nettles are equally invasive and need to be sternly managed . Cotton gloves won’t do shit. It had been raining for a couple days and i went without gloves (as i most usually do) and i got my hand up against some nettles and no sting...so i intentionally tried to get stung, as i began to hypothesize about how the rain had made the needle like hairs on the nettle leaves, limp. Unless you’re crazy, you’ll want to avoid getting stung, so wear gloves. The best time to harvest nettles is the first few weeks of spring when the leaves are young and tender. You can cut the vinegar with 50% water for a less vinegary flavor if you wish. Stinging nettle grows from early spring through the summer. Set them aside and use them later to cover the disturbed area and improve future soil growth. To grow stinging nettle plants, look for a spot in your yard that has full sun. It can be rather painful. When harvesting: A lways harvest stinging nettle with thick gardening gloves to avoid being stung. Stinging Nettle: Harvesting, Processing and Recipes. Pour 40% vodka over them. Around 200 to 400 beneficial insects flock to nettle plants, which is impressive. The leaves are pointed at the tips and serrated along the outer edges (like a serrated kitchen knife). The stem is usually less than 1cm in diameter and the coarsely saw-toothed leaves are lance shaped to oval and have a pointed tip and a heart shaped base. The leaves are found growing in … How to harvest stinging nettle root. Yes, it does sting. How to Harvest Stinging Nettle. Thick gloves, a heavy jacket, tough jeans, and boots are a must. There are a couple of great articles on the internet describing how to harvest nettle seeds… Harvesting and Brewing Stinging Nettles. The first step to nettle harvesting is ensuring that you are properly protected. A Note of Caution: Always seek medical advice from your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any nutritional or herbal supplements. Harvesting your stinging nettle. You can read more about harvesting and using stinging nettle roots here. However expert harvesters explain that if you pinch the stem of the leaf tight enough, you do not get stung. Spreads by underground stems or rhizomes to form dense colonies. Stinging nettle is a perennial plant. Some shade is ok, but these plants thrive when they have several hours of sunlight each day. I made the mistake of using garden gloves and my hands are riddled with stinging bumps. In the fall they can be used to make cordage - especially good for water cordage, like nets (hence the name). Harvesting Wild nettle (aka stinging nettle), isn’t as painful as it might sound! The seeds and roots have medicinal value. Carefully harvest the fresh tender tops of stinging nettle plants. I've been picking wild nettles with the intention of extracting the fibre and making cloth. Stinging nettle is mildly astringent and is often used as a nourishing and tasty food, as a strengthening and refreshing tea, and as a promoter of healthy urinary function with a mild diuretic action*. The stem and leaf edges are covered in stinging hairs. Stinging nettle pesto is a green sauce/condiment/paste made with garlic, salt, Parmesan, walnuts, oil and blanched stinging nettle. It contains antioxidants (like phenolic compounds, Vitamin E, and melatonin). Preserving Nettle Plants. But it has been used as a food and medicine plant dating back at least to ancient Rome. You can consume the leaves fresh, but if you want to preserve the nettle plants to be consumed or used later, there are a few things that you can try. For centuries, stinging nettles have been brewed into medicinal tea that naturally contains profuse amounts of biologically active compounds that improves general health. Tips For Harvesting Nettle Leaves. The sting of the fresh leaves is said to have healing properties, such as helping to reduce inflammation, improving circulation, and even combating allergies. Skin contact with stinging nettle commonly causes welts. Cooking stinging nettle gets rid of the stinging hairs. I wear rose gloves, which cover my forearms. Nettle takes 80-90 days to mature when you grow it from seed. Some people purposely sting themselves to encourage the release of an anti-inflammatory response. as I already mentioned the best stinging nettle leaves are the young ones that grow in early spring. Start by cutting off the top of the plants so that you don't get stung right away. Stinging nettle; the name itself carries an ominous warning to those who might come in contact with it. Those of us living in the Pacific Northwest (and many other regions around the world) are fortunate to be gifted every spring with an abundance of Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). The plant will be under a foot in height. So when you have an opportunity to forage these, just freeze them. It’s no wonder that nettle has been used worldwide for centuries as a potent medicine, documented as far back as Ancient Greece. Be careful not to harvest from areas that are close to busy streets or are frequented by dog walkers. Stems are erect, four-angled, and bristled. They become more bitter after they flower and as they age. While it’s sting can be unpleasant, it teaches us to pay attention to our surroundings and I believe that’s a good thing. Five years ago I would not have imagined that I would be harvesting nettle regularly. Before that, it is advisable to steam them or blanch them in salted water so they lose their sting. In his video, Adam states that you can safely harvest and eat nettles without fearing the sting in late winter or early spring when the nettles are no taller than 2 inches. When using with other herbs and supplements: As with any herb or supplement, it’s important to be cautious when mixing to avoid adverse side effects. And when you cook, soak, or dry Nettles, they lose their stinging property. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition and is for informational purposes only. I’ll admit that it took a bit of work to go from a fear of stinging nettle to actively harvesting it to eat. This plant is a perennial and grows as tall as 5-8 feet at maturity. To learn more about growing, using, and harvesting stinging nettle leaves, check out this comprehensive guide. Spring nettles are at their best right now in New England – new, spring-green, and tender – so last weekend I was delighted to discover a large patch simply brimming with the prickly goodness of nettles. Possibly the easiest plant food to dry and save for later; jumping on the stinging nettle train. Harvest stinging nettle roots in the fall for this tincture that is helpful for men’s health. (Photo Credits) For most people, being stung by a nettle is an experience that’s quite difficult to forget. Stinging nettle is a nutritious plant popular in herb gardens throughout the world. That was mostly brought about by two things: Joining Transition Towns, which had a focus on local foraging. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) are one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. Always wear gloves, pants and a long-sleeve shirt. Anyone else want to try it with me? We harvest this wild green regularly and use it primarily in our very dense greens soup. Wear gloves and long clothing to avoid being “stung.” After the plant has been dried or cooked it no longer has a stinging effect. I passed a lovely afternoon recently in harvesting my first nettle seeds of the year. How to Harvest Stinging Nettles. Or, if you have arthritis, I suppose you could go old school and use your hands. The leaves, stems and roots can all be used but we’re going to focus on the leaves and stems. I happened on this accidentally when i went to harvest a batch of nettle for a meal. In order to avoid getting stung, it is highly recommended you wear gloves when handling nettles. Collect them with gloves on, cutting the top 5 inches before they flower, and either hang them up to dry to use later, put them in vinegar for salad dressing, or cook them into soups or stews. In fact, stinging nettle attracts a variety of beneficial insects and butterfly species. Nettle is one of those magical plants that gives us more than the effort we put into harvesting it. Now that I have experience harvesting it, I know exactly what to look for (and you will too). While some of us might grow stinging nettle, up in the Pacific Northwest, it grows as a weed as early as January. A plentiful supply of wild nettles that was fresh, nutritious and free. 2 cups dried or 4 cups of fresh stinging nettle roots; 3 to 4 cups vodka or brandy (80 proof) 1-quart jar; 5 amber glass bottles with dropper lids; Instructions. Scale 1x 2x 3x Ingredients. You see, about a month ago, I had been watching one of naturalist Adam Haritan’s thoroughly informative videos on stinging nettle. While harvesting stinging nettles can be unpleasant, it also teaches you to pay attention to your surroundings. Plant the nettle roots in rich, moist soil. Harvesting Nettle. The best time to harvest nettle is from late March through April when the leaves are tender and between one and three inches wide. When to Harvest. They are so abundant right now and so helpful during these busy periods that it was a real pleasure to get out gathering them. Sounds a lot like basil pesto, doesn’t it? How to Harvest Stinging Nettle Leaves. It’s beneficial as a whole-body detoxifier, an immune booster, to improve circulation and so much more. You can even use fermented brine. 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" When you are ready to harvest, take a digging knife with you in addition to gloves, long sleeves and trousers. Thick clothes and rubber gloves will prevent you from getting stung. Then, use tongs to handle the nettles. Harvesting stinging nettle. / Posted By Annie Hall / Comments 7 / Tags nettle, nettle recipes, recipes. Stinging nettle- Urtica dioica is a both a beloved and hated plant. Fill a quart jar with nettle roots. Kim Chisholm June 7, 2013 10. Likewise, rubber dish gloves or beekeeping gloves. If you have a disease or pest problem in your grow space, nettle could be the solution. The most important tip of harvesting stinging nettle is to be sure you’re covered to avoid being stung by the plant. Preserving stinging nettle greens Freezing the nettles. Be careful when harvesting stinging nettle. Description and Life Cycle: Grows from 2 to 6 feet tall. Normal leather garden gloves would work great. Your nettles will be ready to harvest between 80-90 days from seed. I struggled to identify them for a couple years until I found a patch and confirmed that it was indeed a stinging nettle patch. The best way to harvest stinging nettles is by using sharp scissors or garden shears. The plant itself has a pretty distinct shape and design. Harvesting and Cooking Nettles (Plus, Nettle and White Bean Recipe!) Anyone up for a Nettle-A-Long? However stinging nettle is actually quite beneficial when properly handled and prepared. It's the right time of year to harvest stinging nettles for yarn purposes. Harvesting Nettles. Pack into clean glass jars and completely cover with organic white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (or experiment with other vinegar types). Interestingly, if you sting an inflamed or painful area of the body with nettle, it has been shown to decrease the pain. We love, love, love, love stinging nettle as a food. Keep the gloves on while you’re preparing the nettles as well. Also Read: How to Harvest Stinging Nettle, Quick and Easy Pesto Pasta, Creamy Chicken & Stinging Nettle Pasta. Stinging nettles grow practically everywhere: even in cities, it is often possible to find the plant growing in parks or gardens as a weed. Nettles have a bast fibre that runs the length … It is recommended that you wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting stinging nettle. HOW TO HARVEST STINGING NETTLE. It’s also best to harvest young plant parts, preferably in the spring. When you plan on harvesting nettles. Harvest the tops of the plant or the first 4-6 leaves. How To Harvest and Use Fresh Nettles: Stinging Nettles are a wonderful vegetable that tastes something like spinach. Nettle is also known for attracting beneficial insects. Stinging nettle is a nutritious spring green that has many uses, and once identified, may become a staple for your spring foraging. Wild harvesting is a great way to affordably work with medicinal herbs while connecting with nature in the process. Even the slightest brush up against it would leave me with an aching rash […] Harvest for eating before they are knee high. The key to unlock these benefits lies in proper identification, harvesting, and handling. Treating Stinging Nettle. Leaves to 6 inches long; usually long stinging … For medicinal properties, harvest early on before the nettles start to flower. Stinging nettles are an herbaceous, fast growing plant with leaves as well as stems, which are covered with tiny, hollow silica tipped hairs and can grow to about 4 feet (1 m.) tall.