If you have never tried before, now is the time to pick stinging nettles, with some good gloves obviously, just pick out the tender most tips. Before eating them, cooking is essential to take out the sting, they are delicious steamed with a little butter like spinach or blended with some wild garlic to make an irresistible pesto. A patch of stinging nettles should be easy to find, it prefers damp, fertile, disturbed ground, which make it an excellent coloniser of places enriched by human activities, such as out gardens, agricultural spaces and reclaimed sewage works like our very own Gallows Hill. It is a valuable plant to much of our wildlife, including caterpillars of the small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies, who use them as foodplants and ladybirds who feast on the aphids that shelter among them. Seed-eating birds, like finches also enjoy their autumn spoils.
By River Six Photo by Pixabay