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Topic: It's nettle time!  (Read 7262 times)
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alwaysinmyroom
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« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2010 08:52:34 AM »

I looked up chickweed as well and it has a lot of healing properties! but there is one that looks similar and is poisonous....my luck I would get that one.  I so want to try foraging for food.

ditto!!!
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Belladune
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« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2010 09:10:33 AM »

I just watched an episode of glutton for punishment about a raw nettle eating competition.... OUCH!  I've been pricked, it hurts. Although I did now nettles are nutritious, I haven't tried to eat them yet.... a little nervous  But this might encourage me to actually try them finally!  thanks!
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Wulf
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« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2010 06:49:23 PM »

SunflowerSmiles, my experience is that by about early June, when the nettles here are about 18 inches high, they start to taste a bit gritty. Some wild food books say to cut them down to the ground and the new growth that comes up will be good again, but I haven't found that to be true. If you're picking the leaves for tea, it doesn't make any difference how late in the season it is. I'm sure the date when the grittiness starts to appear varies a lot from place to place and year to year, but early in the summer will always be good.

As for chickweed, I don't know of anything poisonous that is likely to be mistaken for it, though I've noticed it's often photographed in extreme closeup, which would make it hard to recognize from a picture alone. Some books and websites do warn that it should never be eaten raw, but most authorities (and apparently generations of experience) say otherwise. They may be confusing it with "mouse ear chickweed", which is also perfectly edible, but is covered with tiny hairs that apparently make it quite unpalatable raw. (I've never tried it myself.)

I think the best way to learn what chickweed looks like is to ask a gardener. You may have to listen to a rant about what an evil weed it is, but they'll know it well!

Wulf
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« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2010 03:11:18 PM »

ugh bloody nettles, i actually went out and did some gardening today, picked the tops off the nettles before ruthelessly pulling them from the ground..they do NOT belong where I want to walk barefoot..

the bloody things stung me through my gloves...

I will enjoy eating them all the more...
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« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2010 03:21:43 PM »

maybe I should walk barefoot around my property...seems like a good way to find some! Cheesy
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« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2010 03:25:10 PM »

yes...a painful one.
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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2010 08:02:36 AM »

I give up, the nettles win. i have been clearing out a disgracefully overgrown herb border today...hours and hours later and only about 2 metres done..its very overgrown..most of that time I have been wrestling with nettles, they are tenacious buggers, with very strong stems. I was wearing gardening gloves and I am covered with stings, even managed to sting my ass when I sat back..(jeans too low)...people pay good money for that kind of thing!

alwaysinmyroom you asked earlier if the baby nettles don't sting.

my wrist below, was stung by a leaf no bigger than a little finger nail, my gloves were too short.
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« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2010 08:36:38 AM »

I was reading somewhere (maybe it was link found in this thread...)  That you should wear full length rubber dishwashing gloves, and long pants and long sleeves and be sure not to expose any skin.  And you should do so until they hit the pot... Perhaps you said all this Wulf? Or was it the episode of Glutton for Punishment? Can't remember the source...  But I think that is great advice.  And I remeber from the outdoor ed guy at camp saying you should always have a bucket of water near by to douse your stings, since that's all that it takes to wash it away. 
Hope that all helps a bit EdelC!! 
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« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2010 09:27:18 AM »

It sounds like you would have been better off Diging out the herbs Tilling the whole patch (either with a hand tiller or a power one) then using a garden rake remove the Nettles (burning the buggers) then putting a 5 layer of news print and mulch and re planting your herbs.
I had to something very similar in a garden I let go longer then I should have.
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« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2010 02:42:32 PM »

Strawberryh you are right, I did it with a trowel, digging out all of the weeds, thinking that there might be some decent herbs underneath, but it was mostly  just some chives, almost there now, about 1/3 of it left to do and towards the end I was just lifting the whole layer with a shovel. Weed mat and new herbs and mulch, eventuallY!
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