Nettles and Chives

Blast from the past 2012 post from my first garden in Madison, WI! This post is dedicated to Sophia, who had lots of questions about nettles when I mentioned having transported mine to our new garden and looking forward to making a nettle-basil pesto. Because YUM!

For anyone interested in growing nettles, I definitely suggest a pot, since they are very difficult to eradicate once planted in the ground. (Sorry, Madison!) They regularly grow on the edge of woodlands near streams, as well as in some gardens. You can harvest with gloves. Crushing the leaves releases the antidote to the sting, and heat also neutralizes the burn. If you carefully toss those yummy leaves (and even stems) into a high speed blender, you can drink nettle smoothies or make a yummy pesto, with or without basil. Herbalists have a saying, “When in doubt, use nettles,” since they reportedly cure so many things. Long infusions made from the dried herbs are particularly fortifying.

I also find nettles a fabulous addition to vegan curries, since they take on a slightly fishy flavor and scent when cooked. One of our very favorite nettle recipes is a (cooked) asparagus-nettle-lasagna using zucchini as the noodles layered with tomato sauce and the greens, baked, and then topped afterwards with just a dusting of raw goat cheese or raw Parmesan. It’s so mineral rich that it feels like every part of you got a jolt of deep, wild nutrients.

Laura Bruno's Blog

Spring has sprung in Madison, and I’ve got the garden goodies to prove it! Well, as you can see from the photo, I’m a Lazy Gardener as well as a Lazy Raw Foodist. I go for the perennials and not so much for the raking of leaves. Weeding? Um, since I actually prefer to eat wild things, I planted those nettles myself last year, having invited them to me energetically. One batch arrived from a potluck/foraging friend of mine via an unknown neighbor who dropped them off during a 2011 Reiki 1 class — just as I had mentioned how Reiki hones your manifestation skills. Touché! The other batch came as a gift from the same potluck friend after their own patch had grown beyond the capacity of nonstop nettle infusions and mortar-and-pestle’d salads. Here they are again, tender little leaves, spiking their way vigilantly through the ground as…

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by manyhahama1955 on July 27, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Thank you, Laura, for all the nettle tips! Sounds wonderful. I’ve got the perfect woodland, not far from the lake to plant them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay and yum! You’re welcome 🙂


  3. Posted by Linette on July 27, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Two things:
    Jason has just found out he has low iron levels, so this post comes at the perfect time!

    The second thing is a story of my first memory of nettles: I was about 7, and I went camping with my dad. It was dark, and I had to pee, so he sent me off to the woods. I found a nice, tall patch of weeds to hide me and did my thing. When I came back to the tents, I was already itching from head to foot. Yeah, you guessed it — I had found me a nice, tall patch of stinging nettles! I spent the next three days covered in wet baking soda. LOL I have a definite respect for nettles!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ouchhhhhh! I’m glad this is timely for Jason. And oucccccchhhhhhhh!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Posted by Linette on July 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    LOL it definitely made for an unforgettable experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Posted by Kieron on July 27, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Linette, cook with quality cast iron, if you do cook (vs raw food). The iron molecules get into the food, which you then eat, and it does help with low iron. No pills required. 🙂

    Laura, I have a jar of dried nettles that someone gave my late partner some years ago, maybe about 3 years ago, to help with his kidney issues. I think someone else scared him out of trying them so they sat unused in the dark in a plastic. I wonder if they would retain their efficacy after so much time. Maybe I’ll try that pesto you mention…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have two huge bags of nettles that I need to find after our move, as I’m sure they would be good to use up soon. In any case, they make a great hair rinse for dark hair. 😉


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