WRITTEN BY: KATHRYN TRUE
All around us myriad shades of green are nudging out the gray-brown wash of winter. Buds, blossoms, needles and leaves are unfurling with time-lapse-camera speed, responding to nature’s unseen alarm. For those in the know, one of the most exciting of the re-emerging plants are stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) —famous for their sting and often under-appreciated for their powerful nutritional offerings.
Most people prefer to harvest nettles while wearing gloves.
“Nettles are one of the very first signs of spring, and one of my favorites,” says island ethnobotanist Erin Kenny. “Everything is starting to open up and we’re on this trajectory—there’s no going back. It’s a hopeful sign that coincides with the birds becoming more active.”
Nutritional wow factor
Nettles are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, amino acids and vitamins—notably A and C. Anecdotally, Kenny believes nettles can help ...read more