Nettles
 

  Be Nice to Nettles Week
  a CONE initiative
Nettles
 
“Stinging nettles give us an insight into both the capacity for nature to flourish even in some of the hardest urban conditions, and how plants are essential in providing us with some of the neccessities of life.

Not only do they provide excellent food for some butterflies and moths, but we can make tea from their leaves, use them as dyes, and once stung we will never forget their power to protect - as good a piece of environmental education as any.”

Mathew Frith
Urban Advisor, English Nature

 

 
 
 

Food from nettles

People have eaten the nettle for many centuries and at one point would have been relished as springtime treat! Pepys wrote in his diary of having eaten ‘...some nettle porridge, which was very good’.

Nettle CheeseNutritionally the nettle is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron and numerous trace elements as well as a range of vitamins. The young shoots can be used in soups and stews and in place of spinach. The Northumberland Cheese Company even produces a nettle cheese!

Why not treat yourself to Lady Ridley's Nettle Soup?

Not only humans have benefited from the consumption of the nettle. When dried and turned into a hay the nettle loses its sting and becomes palatable to livestock. In Sweden the nettle is sometimes cultivated for this purpose and fed to milk cattle because of the increased milk production that results.

Horse breeders have often added nettle seeds to horse feeds to give the animals a sleek coat.

 

 
Nettle Lore
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Did you know?
The Latin name of the nettle Urtica comes from the word 'uro' which means to burn!
 
 
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