The Milkweed Diaries

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nettles Patch!

Christopher found a big patch of stinging nettles on our land down by the river ... hurrah!

We had just been craving nettles and talking about how we needed to go to some of our favorite old patches around town and harvest some, since this is just the right time of year for tender young nettles.

Picking nettles (usually at the Pearson St. Community Garden) has been a spring ritual for me for years, and it's been a magical shared experience with several close friends. There's something that feels ancient and vital about nettles to me. They're an early bright blast of green from the wild that just tastes like spring. Tart, wild, and full of chlorophyll, they even look like a little green explosion. Every April or so, C and I both start feeling the urge to get out and get us some nettles, and make teas, soups, quiches, or just eat them plain after a good quick boil. So how exciting to find some right here on our land!

We walked down to The Patch this eve for me to get a look at it, and to pick some. There are blackberry brambles mixed in and a good 12 x 12 or so patch of young juicy hearty NETTLES!

Besides being delicious and making you feel tuff/punk rock when you pick them (because they're not called stinging nettles for nothing), they are medicinal and super-nutritious. They are full of iron, calcium, and bright green spring juju.

C. is making nettle fritters for dinner, using some of last year's Sicilian Silver garlic and some yummy local eggs. After today's visit to Sugar Creek Farm, we were already feeling pretty high on plants, and nettle fritters, I predict, will take us over the edge into full-on, bright green, spring plantworld bliss.

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