In weeding around the vegetable beds, I have been repeatedly stung by a plant with pointed, serrated leaves and fine stingers along its stem. Each time a rash has appeared on my arm, and so I had taken a dislike to the plant.
At Fedco this weekend, we were looking at some potted medicinal herbs: mints, bee balm, motherswort (all of which I have purchased in previous years). The plants were accompanied by a lengthy description of their many uses and characteristics.
We got to “Nettles” and Cherisse gave a little exclamation. She’d just read about them a few days earlier, after discovering them growing everywhere in our fields. The lovely woman selling the plants told us that the nettle’s sting was often used to treat arthritis. She also cooks with nettles in place of spinach (nettles can’t be eaten raw). The flavor is similar, and evidently nettles are loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially iron.
On Sunday, we looked at our nettle patches, and they are indeed prolific. So we will try them—our own food source growing independent of us.