Sunday, June 13, 2010

An Embarrassment of Riches

When my friend Linda was here, she identified a bunch of my mystery plants.  Like this one, she pointed out, is stinging nettle.  (Aha!  So THAT's what made my thumb tingly and numb for an entire day!) 

See the stingers on the stems?

And the stingers on the leaves?
As I walked the goats back and forth through the week, I noticed this "ground cover" around an apple tree looked newly familiar.  Stinging nettle.  Then I saw it near where the fire pit used to be.  And more of it all over the orchard area.
I've got a TON of this stuff.  It's growing in all the places that were disturbed last year.  Time to do some internet research on how to get rid of it.

After reading about all the medicinal uses of this stuff, how it can be eaten, made into tea, astringent, diuretic, etc, etc, etc., I'm wondering if I should be harvesting it instead of trying to kill it.  Do any of you folks do anything with stinging nettle?


  1. Two uses. First, you can eat it. Amazing, right? The cooking process makes the stinging part go away. Here's a link:

    And second, you can use the young shoots in beer and wine making. I'm not sure what they do, but some local friends of mine were interested in the nettles in my backyard for this purpose.

    Good luck!

  2. I encourage the goats to eat it before it get too big. Doesn't seem to bother them. Also, I curse at it.

  3. If you are going to make it into a tea try adding in some mint tea or fresh mint and honey as well. That is the way I drink it and it is amazing!! Here is some info:

  4. My mother, from France said she grew up eating it in a spring greens soup. The goats will eat it but it's not their first pick but if left in a field with it long enough it will get eaten.

  5. I haven't tryed it but I came across a recipe to use it in soap making.

  6. Ah yes, sick the goats on it! It's got to be worth a try. It looks pretty from a distance. :>)