Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

urticus dioica…Stinging Nettle

SUSTAINABLE

1]: capable of being sustained
2]a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or  permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture>
b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>
Synonyms: defendable, defensible, justifiable, maintainable, supportable, tenable

What does sustainable living mean to you?

To us it means to have the ability to always take care of ourselves no matter what is going on around us.  We live rural.  It’s not uncommon to lose power here for several days in extreme weather conditions.  Also, with food prices on the increase we know that having a variety of items on hand will be beneficial…very beneficial… for a variety of reasons.

My brother is a great encourager when it comes to getting out and taking advantage of foods that are naturally growing around us.

On Saturday, he said that he was going up on the mountain behind our house to go pick some Stinging Nettles.  He wanted to cook them up and give them a try.  I was all over the idea of going with him.  I’ve known for years that Stinging Nettle {urticus dioica} is full of nutritional value and has many medicinal qualities to it.  Because I didn’t know what I was doing, I never pursued the idea of picking them on my own and cooking up a batch.

With a little encouragement and companionship I’m willing to try just about anything. {dangerous}

I also love the opportunity to hike around on the mountain behind our house with someone.

Enjoying a good hike and incredible, natural beauty {all the while staying on our dad’s property} we found a good nettle patch and each filled a shopping bag.   We then hiked back down the mountain, went to our own kitchens and a couple of hours later we discussed what we did with our harvest.

Marc made yummy pesto {here is his post} and I just froze mine to put in…well, whatever I want to put it in.  I plan to add it to smoothies. Yesterday I made some pasta and added SN to it.

Stinging Nettle is now much more than an unpleasant childhood memory.

It is surprisingly tasty and can easily be substituted for cooked spinach {which I don’t like} in any recipe.  This is the perfect time of year to harvest it.  Boiling or blanching it for 5 minutes removes the sting and allows it to be very usable.

fresh, young stinging nettles

º  º  º  º

To make my pasta I first ground some durum wheat.  As I mixed the remaining ingredients for the pasta, I added about  a ½ c. of finely chopped Stinging Nettle that I had first steamed.  I honestly don’t think that it added any flavor but it certainly added color and nutrition!

Here is something to think about.  How would your family hold up if you couldn’t get to a store for a few days {or several}?  Or if the local grocery store shelves were bare because delivery trucks were unable to transport.  We can watch the news and see how natural disasters affect the world around us but what if something hits close to home?  Our whole world feels as though it’s on shaky ground and I’m not only referring to the elements of nature…

If you are interested in learning more about Stinging Nettle just do a Google Search.  There is so much wonderful information!  I really enjoyed “THIS POST” that my brother sent to me.

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May 4, 2011 - Posted by | foraging, in the kitchen, my neck of the woods!, sustainable living

3 Comments »

  1. What a great post Elaine! This should get EVERYONE to really think about what we would do if……. thanks for sharing

    Comment by Elizabeth | May 4, 2011 | Reply

  2. Nettles? Yikes! I’ve known for a long time that people eat ’em, even seen them for sale at a local market. Oh, Elaine – you’re brave! I just can’t get past the memories of the sting – ouch! ;o)
    -Karoline

    Comment by Karoline | May 4, 2011 | Reply

  3. Loved this post! Thanks! I love learning about becoming more sustainable! This has been our goal since moving to our little farm. 27 acres (raising our own beef, ducks for eggs, goats for milk, the bigger garden each year! Possibly adding a root cellar this year! May try the SN… My husband frowned on the idea of me growing our own. 🙂

    Comment by ~Neighbor Ronnie | May 7, 2011 | Reply


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