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Nettles Tea

Category : Beverages, March, Recipes, Wildcrafting

Nettles TeaSo now you’ve gone out and foraged some stinging nettles, and you know how to handle them comfortably. How do you cook them? Easiest place to start is making tea. Nettles tea is very healthy and will give you a good opportunity to see what nettles taste like. I thought it might taste kind of “green” but it’s got a sweet note that makes it very pleasant. The color is simply spectacular. Continue Reading

Stinging Nettles

Category : About Food Sources, April, March, Wildcrafting

Photo of Stinging NettlesFor many people, stinging nettles (Urtica dioica and the closely related Urtica urens) conjure up images of nasty burning sensations caused by brushing against the nearly invisible spines on the leaves of an otherwise lovely green plant. Nettles grow wild in damp, shady woods, and can reach several feet high.

Nettles’ sting comes from sharp silicate-bearing, hair-like structures on the leaves that actually shoot irritating substances into your skin like a hypodermic needle. Unlike plants which cause reactions for only some people, nettle stings affect virtually everyone who touches them.

So why not just avoid nettles altogether? Continue Reading

Honey and Allergies: Interview with Dr. Jean Layton, ND

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Category : Interviews, Whatcom Locavore Basics

HoneybeeDoes eating local honey help reduce pollen allergy symptoms? I’ve come across the idea several times but have never seen scientific studies about it. I decided to call my local naturopathic physician, Dr. Jean Layton, to see if there was any truth to it. As you’ll see, our conversation also ranged to other fascinating topics regarding the relationship between health and locally grown foods. Continue Reading

Sautéed Mushrooms and Nettles

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Category : Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian, Wildcrafting

Photo of Sauteed Mushrooms and NettlesFor many people, stinging nettles conjure up images of nasty burning sensations caused by brushing against the nearly invisible spines or flowers of an otherwise lovely green plant. Nettles grow wild in damp, shady woods, and can reach several feet high.

However, when picked fresh before they start blooming, nettle leaves are a healthy spring tonic and a nutritional powerhouse. Cooking breaks down the chemical that causes the stinging sensation on skin, so cooked nettles are perfectly safe to eat. Continue Reading

Spring Cleanse Menu

Category : February, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Photo of plated Spring Cleanse MenuCurrants, plums and forsythias are beginning to bloom, crocuses sprouted several weeks ago, and the gardeners among us  are wearing dirt under their fingernails and big smiles. Spring is definitely coming, if not already here, and it’s time to think about spring cleaning, both inside and out. Stay with me for a minute and I’ll show how that’s related to this week’s menu. Continue Reading