This week we are looking at two more plants that can be foraged in January!
Nettles, the perennial pain in my ….. When we moved here to the holding the majority of the land around the holding was swamped by brambles and nettles. Gradually I have fought back the nettles to smaller areas. I don’t want to eradicate them completely as they are fabulous habitat for butterflies and ladybirds. They will literally though grow anywhere!
However, if you use a good pair of gloves and cook them as though they were spinach the sting is nullified and they give you a great source of vitamin C and protein. The Hedgerow handbook gives recipes for crumble, beer and syrup made from nettles. Foraging with kids gives a recipe for Nettle soup. Hedgerow Medicine gives some of the medicinal uses of nettles as an antihistamine, enhancing natural immunity, supporting the treatment of diabetes, lowering high blood pressure and most interestingly as an amphoteric for breast milk productions, meaning that it regulates the production.
These are known for being good livestock fodder, and look rather similar to dandelions, but don’t let the stems get into your food as the sap is unpleasant tasting. The Hedgerow handbook suggests Sow thistle cannelloni, or sow thistle spread. As for mentions elsewhere, so far I have checked the Foragers kitchen, the Wild Life, and the other two aforementioned books and no mention….