Be nice to nettles

Hooray! It’s Be Nice to Nettles Week

Green nettle

This is one week when I can legitimately pretend that the large nettle patch on my new allotment is by design rather than default. Actually there are rather too many of them at the moment but I intend to keep a patch near the compost where I can brew some  Nettle manure over the growing season.  As well as being vital in atttracting beneficial insects to the plot I’ll also use them for making Nettle Soup and brewing tea. To make nettle tea, soak 4-6 teaspoons of dried nettle leaves or root in about 6 ounces of water. Drink 2 to 3 cups of tea a day for relief from urinary tract infections, skin irritations, and blood coagulation and circulation.  Love the soup but frankly only tolerate the tea because it’s good for me. Nettle beer is altogether more palatable.

Nettle Beer 

2lb nettle tops (you need young ones)
8 pints Water
1lb demerara Sugar
2 Lemons and an orange
1 oz Cream of Tartar
½oz Brewers Yeast                                                                                                                      

small ginger root, chopped

Shake the bugs off the nettles. Wash and drain.
Finely peel the lemons (you only need the outer waxy layer) and squeeze out the juice. Juice the orange.
Place nettles and water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Let it boil for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into a large container with the lemon rind, juices and cream of tartar. Give it a really good stir.
Allow to cool to about 21°C (70°F). Remove a little of the liquid and mix with the yeast, then stir this into the liquid.
Cover the container with muslin but make sure the cloth cannot come into contact with the liquid. Secure with string.
Leave in a warm place 21°C (70°F) for 3 days.
Strain the liquid into glass bottles and cork.
Secure the corks with wire, but leave room for possible expansion.
Store in a cool dark place to condition for about a week.
If the corks begin to rise, release the wire slightly and re-secure.
Drink cold.

And I’ve even heard of people making string from nettles…………from sting to string!

Well that’s six uses for nettles. Any other ideas?

6 thoughts on “Be nice to nettles

Add yours

  1. Thanks for this informative post. I’m pretty sure that many people are searching information aboutt this topic . But nice blog.

  2. Mmmm, we’ve got some nettle beer brewing at the moment and I used some nettles to dye wool for spinning a little while ago too. Must give the soup a try next!

  3. Good to hear from you I hadn’t thought of using them for dyeing – but then I’m no knitter as my family will testify. Could you use it for dyeing cloth do you know? Hope you enjoy the beer.

  4. Thanks. Yep, I think you could dye fabric with nettles – you need to mordant the fabric prior to dyeing though in order to make it more light and colour fast. I use alum for wool but you might need to try something different for cotton…

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