Foraging Nettles

DSCF3196DSCF3201DSCF3220DSCF3242DSCF3281DSCF3355DSCF3260DSCF3261DSCF3266DSCF3359DSCF3296DSCF3400DSCF3411DSCF3420DSCF3428DSCF3441 Kyra my land mate / close friend is a herbalist, tea maker and forager. While visiting her we usually sip fresh herbal tea served hot off the wood stove into a hearty clay mug. A swirling mix of herbs freshly blended for whatever mood or ailment you might have that day. Kyra blends together organic herbs she buys from Moutian Rose or with ones she has harvested from the island. Right now we are in nettle season and they are in full bloom all around us. This time of year I usually pick a few handfuls of the nutrient packed plant and make some quick batches of nettle tea but not like Kyra who carefully picks arm loads full to dry and store until the next season.

This week Owynn and I went along on a foraging adventure with Kyra to pick nettles from a near by patch. She warned me to pick the tops of the nettles, the young and fresh leaves as the mature part can be toxic in large amounts. We picked nettles, listened to the spring birds sing, enjoyed the shelter in the forest from the blustery wind and passed by our neighbors horses who are always happy for a visit. It was a lovely day to be outside. It always feels good to return from a walk with treasures and fresh food from the woods. We came home with a canvas bag full of nettles, Kyra laid them on her drying racks. They will dry for a week or so with the wood fire heat and then she will pack them into mason jars and label them with the date. Next she will begin to harvest the wild rose petals that grow in abundance in our fields.