nettle time

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May is for eating nettles. I pick the top tips with gloved hands, pack a paper bag. I cut the remaining plants then and let them dry tied together in a bunch, this will make a healthy addition to hay for the goats in winter or, when hand crumbled (when bone dry with a lot of patience) a good mix for the grain fed to chickens, or without drying a great addendum to comfrey to make liquid fertilizer.

For a large pot of soup I cut up 500g potatoes into cubes and cook them in salted water, with perhaps a teaspoonfull of organic vegetable broth. When the potatoes are well cooked I throw in the nettle tips, at that stage they are no longer stinging I know but I take no chances and open the bag over the steaming pot. Once submerged, they will only take about three minutes to cook. I blend the lot, add a little salt and a little pepper and a dollop of crème fraîche in the plate. 

This is good for the blood, so I hear. This is delicious. Used this way, if you leave the roots in situ, your patch will supply you with healthy and free greens for perhaps 9 months of the year. Soup is simple, but they are other more elaborate uses for them, and as raw food a few tips can be thrown into a blender with other smoothie ingredients.

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