U is for … Urtica Dioica (common nettle)

September 8, 2011 at 9:09 am 3 comments

uninspired by this letter!
I could say I’m a bit untidy but the last few months I’ve gone de-clutter crazy and become a bit of a neat freak…  Unconventional?  Perhaps by some people’s standards…  I can only think of un- words in a fairly half-hearted ‘not this, not that‘ kind of way so I’ve settled on a U that’s a regular feature of allotment life.

I have mixed feelings about Urtica Dioica, the latin name for the common Nettle.
The growth of nettles on wasteland is said to indicate nutrient rich soil so we tolerate them in swathes round the trees or growing up through our compost areas.  If I was gardening in the Middle Ages I’d leave them be too believing they protected against sorcery and marked the dwelling place of elves*!

I have been known to collect the tips to make a herbal brew or use nettles like spinach in lasagne but it’s rather labour intensive.  The one place on the plot where nettles are shown no mercy is the strawberry bed where  picking fruit has become a bit of an extreme sport and we rarely manage it without much cussing and prickles.
* according to Jekka McVicar’s Complete Herb Book

(my other A-Z challenge posts are here)

Entry filed under: allotment tales. Tags: .

Jekka’s Herb Farm open days W is for … wine making

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Everlovin' Dad  |  September 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Ubiquitous; “present everywhere or in several places simultaneously” !!! sounds like your nettles and……..

  • 2. Mel (Formerly Fiona Mayhem)  |  January 3, 2012 at 3:04 am

    There is a brilliant pesto recipe using nettles in the River Cottage Bread book – using breadcrumbs instead of pine nuts and heddar instead of parmesan. I really recommend it!

    U is also for the Umbellifers – carrots, parsley, dill, fennel, celery, caraway, chervil, parsnips, and loads of others.

  • 3. Nip it in the bud  |  January 3, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Dad – U was certainly a tricky one. I like your random thinking!

    Mel – I’m very good at collecting up nettle tops and then not actually doing anything with them! The most I’ve managed is using them a bit spinach like in lasagne as it takes so many to make a soup. Nice tip though – I have a River Cottage book so will check it out.

    Perhaps my U should have been ‘uneducated’ as I’ve never heard the term umbellifers! Thanks for sharing your gardening wisdom :o)


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About Nip it in the bud

Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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