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Nettle question

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:14 pm
by Brewtrog
The trans Pennie trail near where I live gets trimmed on a surprisingly regular basis. For my question this means that there are a lot of what look like young nettles growing along the path. I don't have a clue if they have flowered before they were cut back or what. So my question is this, should they be alright to harvest (for teas) (and indeed does it really matter whether or not nettles have flowered)

Re: Nettle question

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:44 am
by Green Aura
If it's new growth it won't have flowered. Whether it's as tasty/nutritious as new Spring growth I don't know.
I think the thing about flowering is just to signify old leaves, which are tough and fibrous - not good for eating, although I understand the stems produce long fibres for spinning. Spring growth is lovely for soups, teas, spring tonic etc.

Re: Nettle question

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:20 pm
by Brewtrog
Green Aura wrote:If it's new growth it won't have flowered. Whether it's as tasty/nutritious as new Spring growth I don't know.
I think the thing about flowering is just to signify old leaves, which are tough and fibrous - not good for eating, although I understand the stems produce long fibres for spinning. Spring growth is lovely for soups, teas, spring tonic etc.

Thanks for that. Would it actually make any odds how tuberous they are when making tea? Especially as I'll be drying them first?

Re: Nettle question

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:33 pm
by Green Aura
I don't know really. The only problem I could foresee is the taste - nettle is a bit earthy and maybe old leaves will be stronger. If you're OK with that then no problem - the leaves will crumble when dried and you can chuck all the fibrous parts in the compost.

Re: Nettle question

Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:41 am
by Weedo
OK

I haven't really looked at nettles from a human consumption point of view but went back through some older info when checking the animal nutrition benefits (it is really highly nutritious, on a par with ryegrass and not far behind lucerne)

I think this is largely a matter of personal choice if for tea. The mineral content of leaves varies little between old and new leaves; it is mostly influenced by soil and moisture although old leaves would naturally tend to concentrate it slightly. However, it seems the vitamin contents are slightly higher in old leaves than in young leaves. Generally, use what is available and what suits your tastes.