Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Early spring brings the abundance of fresh herbs.
One of my all time favorite herbs (for tea anyways) is the stinging nettle, it is packed full of nutrition and can be used in fresh tea as well as literally any dish where you would otherwise use spinach.
I go through great length to find spots where they grow away from traffic, and where no one is spraying any pesticides.
It has become a favorite excursion of ours to go wild herb picking, and while I am the only one who pick the nettles, the children love picking especially the red clover flowers, which are just flowering now. They love to eat them straight off the stem, and in this way I know they get their greens as they are not great lovers of salad. ~Yet~
Once picked the clovers go in a jar with water, and I use the flowers each evening for tea. They do not keep well once picked, so I pick no more than I will use in about three days.

The great nettle.
I pick off only the top to encourage new growth, because once they flower they are no longer as delicious, and the flowering happens quickly. If the nettles are slightly pulled the roots will come out, so it helps to use scissors.
Once at home I soak them to clean, put them in a salad spin to get rid of the excess water, and leave them on a tea towel to dry completely before storing them in large ziplock bags in the fridge.
If completely dry the nettles will last about two weeks.

Each evening I fill my tea press with the fresh herbs, adding whatever is fresh and in season.
These days, along with the nettles and red clover flowers, I add Bee Balm (Monarch flower), as well as mint and lemon balm, for added flavor as well as nutrition.

And soon we will have wild blackberries for picking and jamming,
as well as....

blueberries!! Yum!
How abundant the natural world.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures!!! I grew up picking and eating stinging nettles and red clover and love both, brings back many childhood memories.


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