Nettles

Not just nutritious food, fibre, fertiliser, fodder, and flagellation aid,but also dye, beer, tea, pest control, wildlife food and habitat.

Campbell – “In Scotland, I have eaten nettles, I have slept in nettle sheets, and I have dined off a nettle tablecloth. The young and tender nettle is an excellent potherb. The stalks of the old nettle are as good as flax for making cloth. I have heard my mother say, that she thought nettle-cloth more durable than any other species of linen.”

Nettle, wild garlic & hop shoots quiche

Nettle, wild garlic & hop shoots quiche

Victor Hugo – “One day he (Monsieur Madeleine) saw some peasants busy plucking out Nettles; he looked at the heap of plants uprooted and already withered, and said – “They are dead. Yet it would be well if people knew how to make use of them. When the nettle is young, its leaf forms an excellent vegetable; when it matures, it has filaments and fibres like hemp and flax. Nettle fabric is as good as canvas. Chopped, the nettle is good for poultry; pounded it is good for cattle. The seed of the nettle mingled with fodder imparts a gloss to the coats of animals; its root mixed with salt produces a beautiful yellow colour. It is besides excellent hay and can be cut twice. And what does the nettle require? Little earth, no attention, no cultivation. Only the seed falls as it ripens, and is difficult to gather. That is all. With a little trouble, the nettle would be useful; it is neglected, and becomes harmful.”

Euell Gibbons – “One of the finest and most nutritious foods in the whole plant kingdom.”

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Nettle pesto on nettle gnocchi

Toasting nettles à la Ray Mears

Toasting nettles à la Ray Mears

18 May 2013 Nettle Menu

  • nettle crisps
  • nettle soup (well done phil, delicious)
  • nettle gnocchi with raw nettle & walnut pesto
  • nettle leaf curd & pearled spelt tartlets
  • sprouted peas with raw nettle dressing
  • fava & nettle dip (pretty dull)
  • nettle, flax & oat crackers
  • nettle filo pastries (lovely, thank you kiraz)
  • nettle & hazelnut biscuits (thankfully un-nettley)
  • not-nettle anniversary cakes

Nettle Cordage Tutorial – fun to do, and easiest from the end of May to June.

Nettle-died bag with nettle cordage handle

Nettle-died bag with nettle cordage handle

Lots of Nettle Links to get you in the mood: ‘Eat up Your Nettles’ from the Wild Food School ®

Nettle info

Leafcurd

Making nettle curd

Making nettle curd

Nettle curd!

Nettle curd!

– it’s like tofu but made out of leaves:

 

 


Fibre

external image 41oeFWsJgiL._SL500_AA300_.jpg A fantastic book on the subject is ‘From Sting to Spin: A History of Nettle Fibre’ by Gillian Edom, who started to research into all aspects of the nettle nearly 20 years’ ago. “I eventually got diverted into looking more closely at nettle fibre, which progressed to my research degree into the extraction of fibre from the stinging nettle and then at last my book. I don’t claim to have found out everything there is to be found, but in the book I try and present some of the evidence for its past use (or not, as the case may be). It’s a truly lovely fibre, though tricky to extract.”


 

Make your own nettle underpants?

www.CamiraFabrics.com – experimenting with producing nettle & wool fabrics.


Fertility

and other fantastic garden uses:


Previously…

2013:

Saturday 18th May 2013, 1- 3pm
In the sideroom to Hornsey Parish Church Hall, Cranley Gardens N10 3AH (eastern end). Bus routes W7, W3, 144

Bring your nettle-related (vegan) food*, drink, facts & artefacts and join us in enjoying this fabulous & versatile plant. Not sure what to bring? Bring a bunch of nettles! Succulent tips for cooking or long stems for cordage. As usual, please bring your own cup & eating paraphernalia – we don’t like disposables.


2012:
Urban Harvest Nettle CelebrationSaturday 17th March 2012, 1- 3pm at Green Lens Studio, 4a Atterbury Road, London N4 1SF


2011:
NETTLE DAY CELEBRATION & HARVEST
Sat 21 May 2011 at 1pm
Meeting point: In front of Friends of Tottenham Marshes Permaculture Garden google map here
Our May harvest happens to fall on the national nettle appreciation week.
Our celebration days involve usual foraging followed by sharing of knowledge and samples made prior to the day to be shared.