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Friday, May 6, 2011

Wildharvesting: Nettles (Urtica dioica)

It's time to harvest Nettles (Urtica dioica) on the west coast. 
Harvest Nettles before they flower, before the leaves are very large. Wear gloves, cut stems near the ground and prepare to dry or use fresh. Cooked Nettles make a great soup, otherwise they can be made into a tea or dried for later use. Spread out to dry as they will bruise easily. Do not wash prior to drying. Do not harvest leaves after the plant goes to seed as the mineral content changes and becomes irritating to the kidneys. Caution: do not touch the plant as it can cause dermatitis (Plantain leaf is a great antidote for this). Nettles sometime grow in contaminated soil so take care to select clean habitats for harvesting.

For more info on spring harvesting check out:

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