I think stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, is a most amazing plant. Food, medicine, and fiber -- three in one. Some of her primary medicinal uses are to relieve allergies, as a nutritive tonic, as a diuretic, and to relieve arthritis. She helps our hair and nails grow better and makes our blood vessels more elastic. She nourishes our adrenals. And her root treats prostrate problems. Having nettle as an ally has been worth every accidental sting and all the times dragging the hose over to water.
I carefully stripped the leaves off the 4' stalks of dried nettles for easier storage. The less the leaves are broken up, the better they hold their nutritive qualities, so the half-gallon jars have whole leaves and the quart jar has just enough ground leaves for immediate use. To get the finer consistency, I put them in a plastic bag and kneaded it a little. The labels are once again a recycled page from an old gardening book. The nettles will be good for a least one year if stored in a dark, cool place.
At just under a half-pound, this is about a quarter of the amount I normally use in a year's time but more is already drying behind the tablecloth curtain. As long as I can hold off the plants from budding and the aphids, I can continue to harvest. I usually have to buy it, but maybe-just-maybe this year I won't.
There's fiber to be had in the stalks but I'll put them in the compost or dry them for a campfire in the backyard.
The first dried nettle infusion of the year from our little nettle patch and a bit of experimental stitching on the moon cloth. I love summer.
I hope you're having a wonderful week!