Karen harvested stinging nettles from our land, since the plants are springing up and are at their tender best as young shoots. She later hung them upside down in bunches in our basement, keeping them in a dark, dry location.
Nettles have a pretty amazing sting from even the slightest touch. A light brush up against them will leave your skin lit up, and the sting can persist for a day. However, the sting is not like a poison ivy or such, and it gradually dissipates with no other adverse or visible effects. To harvest them, she wore rubber gloves and stuffed them into sacks.
The sting can be eliminated from the plant by either a quick boil or a thorough drying. Karen has boiled them before, and even used their leaves in tea. For drying this batch, she will crush the dried leaves and keep them in a glass container for long term storage. They are tasty and nutritious as greens, soup, or pesto.
Nettles also have historical medicinal uses, and can be the basis for paper, textiles, and rope.
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