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Volunteer stinging nettles will becomes soup this week.

Pick-Your-Own Stinging Nettles

In 2022, stinging nettles showed up at Gardenerd HQ. Not sure where they came from, but they sprouted all over the yard in a carpet of deceptively soft green leaves.

We made everything you could think of with them. Stinging nettle soup, risotto, pizza, tea, erbazzone. You name it, we made it. Then we put out the call for a Pick-Your-Own party.

Stinging nettles
Stinging nettles are prickly, but if turn them into soup they nourish us and taste delicious.

Six people stopped by throughout the week and picked bags and bags of nettles. You’d think they would have cleared out the garden. But no. Their harvests didn’t make a dent. The yard still looked like a cleverly disguised torture/obstacle course. Still, it was fun to share the harvest with the neighborhood. And you can do it too!

Put out the word about your very own Pick-Your-Own event on your local NextDoor or Buy Nothing group. Offer up bags of pre-picked goodies in an honor stand out front. Sharing is one of the best parts of growing food.

Honor stand in Ojai, CA

This year, we used a hula hoe to curtail the growth of stinging nettles as they sprouted up from the soil, but left a smaller section to enjoy and share. We let those go to seed (not hard, really) so they’ll return next year.

Give from the garden this spring. You’ll feel the joy of gardening twice: when you grow it and when you give it away. And for what’s left, try these recipes. (Note: before using stinging nettles in tea or other dishes, check this site for possible side effects and interactions).

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