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Nettles

Our garden yesterday.

Tall Nettles
TALL nettles cover up, as they have done
These many springs, the rusty harrow, the plough
Long worn out, and the roller made of stone:
Only the elm butt tops the nettles now.

This corner of the farmyard I like most:
As well as any bloom upon a flower
I like the dust on the nettles, never lost
Except to prove the sweetness of a shower.
~ Edward Thomas ~
Every time we venture out to pick nettles, Sime always goes on about this poem!

Anyway, thought I'd share with you the article I've written for next month's Parish Magazine...


Our hedgerows are coming alive with food aplenty, but hardly anyone really notices the nettles that surround us, they grow quietly while using their juices to produce a medicine that can bring health. Anaemia, arthritis, rickets, tuberculosis, respiratory diseases, colds, catarrh & lymphatic problems can all benefit from this wonderful wild & free super food.
Nettles are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, as well as Vitamins A, B, C, D & K & many more important trace elements & how lucky we are that this plant has a stinging exterior – without it we would never benefit from its healing power, as animals, with their instinctive knowledge of what is good for them, would never leave us even one leaf!
Being vegetarian/vegan for over 20 years, our family have long been lovers of juicing & have used all sorts of wonderfully exotic super foods in the past, but these days our favourite is nettles. We drink nettle tea all year round & in spring, we pick the tops from young nettles by the bagful to pulp & sprinkle on our soups, salads & pasta dishes. We also use them to make home-made beer; which along with root ginger, certainly makes a fine brew.


We found enough just in our hedgerow today.


And cooked up a soup on the woodburner...

So no electricity involved either!

Red lentil, Carrot, Ginger & Nettle Soup

6oz Red Lentils
12 oz Carrots
1 Large Leek
1 Medium Potato
3 Cloves Garlic
1 inch piece Ginger
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Celery Seed
3 Bay Leaves
1 litre of water or stock if preferred
Half a colander of Young Nettle Leaves (not old tough looking ones)!
1 tbsp Sage
Milk to taste (We recommend Oat & Almond)
Salt & Pepper

  1. Chop leek, carrots, potato & ginger & place in saucepan with a little of the water & celery seed. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. Wash & add lentils, bay leaves, cumin & the rest of the water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Once the lentils & carrots are cooked, add the garlic, nettles & sage. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat. Remove the bay leaves. Add more water if required, then add milk, blend the soup & season to taste.

Tonight, Sime added more lentils to the soup along with some chopped onion & garlic, then served it with steamed veggies - as we've been given loads of extra organic veg by the owners of the property we cleaned today...

Another few busy days - a spring clean today, tomorrow we'll be cleaning for Mr. Grumpy Pants (a local old man who just snarls at us now & again), home education group on Wednesday & then cleaning again through until Sunday... And of course there's the mountain of work washing & ironing...

Mummy's little helper...

Looking forward to quieter times already! 

Night, night.

K&S
xx
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