I decided to grow my nettles high and try processing them for fibre again this year. I have left this a little later than ideal, but so much about my knowledge of processing nettle fibre is imperfect I decided to just give it a try and worry about fine detail at some future point when I have more understanding and more experience! Here we have my harvest, with leaves:
And after the leaves have been stripped. The leaves went to friends who were enthusiastic about nettle soup. I am sorry to say I don’t like the flavour of nettles. I wish I did, they are full of minerals and I have plenty of them! I love the idea of eating them but not the reality. I will just have to stick to eating dandelion, prickly lettuce and milk thistle to keep my weeds down.
While I was pulling the nettles and weeding out the soursobs and burr medic and grass, the chickens kept me company and enjoyed the fruits (and earwigs) of my labours. If this was a podcast, I would have been only too delighted to record their excited voices. And when I found these, I had some excitement of my own! In fact, I went in and made a potato and silverbeet (and endive, milk thistle, chicory, parsley) soup to share with my friends the nettle lovers.
The nettles are much bigger than the previous harvest. So much so there was no chance I could rett them in a bucket, even my biggest one. In the end, they went into the wheelbarrow, the biggest receptacle I could find other than my bathtub! To be continued…