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Harvesting Nettle And Infusions

It’s that time of year when nettles are bursting out of the soil and I am so happy to see their beautiful greeness. These last few years have been hard and long and my body is stressed from the winter, spring then winter spring and winter again . So I am so thankful for my green sisters arrival and I am challenging myself to take advantage of as much of the nettles as I can.

First off to honour my moon cycle which seemed perfectly timed to the new buds I made a green tonifying infusion. An infusion is just like a tea except you steep it for 6+ hours. I enjoyed half of my infusion after steeping for 15 minutes and saved the rest for the following morning.

Making an infusion or a quick cup of tea is very easy, It’s up to you if you want to wear gloves or not for picking. Sometimes I do sometimes I don’t. My hands have some circulation issues and when they hurt I tend to harvest without gloves and take the sting. It's a take away from the old medical practice called Urtication. Urtication is the process of flogging the skin with nettles to help with pain relief, irritation of the skin and help movement in the case of circulation and swelling of joints and limbs.

When harvesting spring nettles the sting isn’t nearly as strong as it is in more mature plants but if you are not used to it I suggest using gloves. Snips, a jar and a basket if you like and you are set to go. I always like to recite a little thank you or I will bring something for my plants like leftover coffee, some moon water or if I have some extra kombucha or if we have found some worms. Anything to say thanks, this is optional, but something I encourage as it’s the basis to any relationship. You can snip as high or as low as you want but do keep in mind you want to cut right above a node, Depending on the amount you are harvesting cut as little or as much as you would like for roughly a 1 litre mason jar or a quart jar I tend to do 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh nettles stems and all and then fill it to the tippy top with boiling hot water. Let this sit atleast 10-15 minutes before you pull off for a cup or let steep 6 hours to overnight for a stronger infusion. When we are abundant in nettles in the summer time we will blend nettles with other plants like mint, lemon balm, catnip, rose petals and more and make iced teas for all of us to sip on during the hot days.

I have a fun little reel on harvesting nettles and making an infusion here. If you are new to nettles or or are looking for more nettle love check out my friends Jodi and Maria over at Northern Foragers Collective they have a wonderful post all about nettles here.

As always thanks so much for being here and please let me know what do you make with your nettles? Also stay tuned as I have much much more to share and make with nettles.


Deanne


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