Author Topic: Growing food - The Garden Thread  (Read 121394 times)

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #210 on: May 25, 2012, 02:01:18 AM »
Nettle enchiladas?  wow, interesting.  Kind of like spinach enchiladas?  Do tell. 8)

Yep, exactly like spinach enchiladas. The texture was a little different, but partially because I think I squeezed too much liquid out of the nettles after I cooked them. I could've told you they were spinach enchiladas and you wouldn't have know the difference. You could easily use nettles anywhere you use spinach. Some picking advice: pluck the section of the top 3 leaves. The stem is soft enough there to use it all. Don't pick plants that have flowered. Supposedly they create some chemical after flowering that can irritate the urinary tract. Oh, of course, use gloves. To cook, dunk in boiling water for at least 30 seconds. I did about 1.5 minutes to soften enough for the enchiladas. Want a quick little adrenaline rush? That first bite of nettles after cooking. It's hard to believe that a little boiling water will get rid of the sting.  :)

We have a metric ton of nettles growing. Apparently they're actually a sign of good soil, so I'm happy to see them, but cooking them, I've never tried it. We have some huge ones, though - ~15 cm across for some leaves - maybe not tasty for the bigger ones?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #211 on: May 25, 2012, 07:13:04 AM »
Nettle enchiladas?  wow, interesting.  Kind of like spinach enchiladas?  Do tell. 8)

Yep, exactly like spinach enchiladas. The texture was a little different, but partially because I think I squeezed too much liquid out of the nettles after I cooked them. I could've told you they were spinach enchiladas and you wouldn't have know the difference. You could easily use nettles anywhere you use spinach. Some picking advice: pluck the section of the top 3 leaves. The stem is soft enough there to use it all. Don't pick plants that have flowered. Supposedly they create some chemical after flowering that can irritate the urinary tract. Oh, of course, use gloves. To cook, dunk in boiling water for at least 30 seconds. I did about 1.5 minutes to soften enough for the enchiladas. Want a quick little adrenaline rush? That first bite of nettles after cooking. It's hard to believe that a little boiling water will get rid of the sting.  :)

We have a metric ton of nettles growing. Apparently they're actually a sign of good soil, so I'm happy to see them, but cooking them, I've never tried it. We have some huge ones, though - ~15 cm across for some leaves - maybe not tasty for the bigger ones?

try putting one i the microwave! but stay close and be ready to open the door.
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Offline bo

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #212 on: May 25, 2012, 08:14:50 AM »
Are you talking about stinging nettle?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #213 on: May 25, 2012, 08:16:16 AM »
Are you talking about stinging nettle?

yup,

nettles are delicious, try creamed on toast. boil first then saute with onions, add some cream, salt and pepper serve... on toast... duh
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #214 on: May 25, 2012, 08:39:50 AM »
try putting one i the microwave! but stay close and be ready to open the door.

We don't use microwaves in France, only the warmth of our love for our fellow man.
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Offline bo

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #215 on: May 25, 2012, 09:20:06 AM »
I hit about an acre of those with Roundup a few years ago. Are you sure these are the same things? What I have will sprout white flowers and has prickly thrones on the leaves and the stalks. How could you even eat them? You'd never be able to scrape all of that off and what about the poison?

Offline theoman

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #216 on: May 25, 2012, 10:48:05 AM »
I hit about an acre of those with Roundup a few years ago. Are you sure these are the same things? What I have will sprout white flowers and has prickly thrones on the leaves and the stalks. How could you even eat them? You'd never be able to scrape all of that off and what about the poison?

Yep, stinging nettles. They have tiny little hairs that make it miserable to grab the things. Hence, use gloves to pick. Cooking them makes them harmless. Not only are they delicious, they're super-crazy-good for you.

Offline bo

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #217 on: May 25, 2012, 10:59:29 AM »
I hit about an acre of those with Roundup a few years ago. Are you sure these are the same things? What I have will sprout white flowers and has prickly thrones on the leaves and the stalks. How could you even eat them? You'd never be able to scrape all of that off and what about the poison?

Yep, stinging nettles. They have tiny little hairs that make it miserable to grab the things. Hence, use gloves to pick. Cooking them makes them harmless. Not only are they delicious, they're super-crazy-good for you.

Is there any part of it that you can't eat or need to be careful with. Stalks or just the leaves. Sorry, but this seems really strange to me. If I touch one of them I get a really bad rash, but I'm willing to try anything once.

How would you suggest cooking them for the first time?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #218 on: May 25, 2012, 11:17:57 AM »
I hit about an acre of those with Roundup a few years ago. Are you sure these are the same things? What I have will sprout white flowers and has prickly thrones on the leaves and the stalks. How could you even eat them? You'd never be able to scrape all of that off and what about the poison?

Yep, stinging nettles. They have tiny little hairs that make it miserable to grab the things. Hence, use gloves to pick. Cooking them makes them harmless. Not only are they delicious, they're super-crazy-good for you.

Is there any part of it that you can't eat or need to be careful with. Stalks or just the leaves. Sorry, but this seems really strange to me. If I touch one of them I get a really bad rash, but I'm willing to try anything once.

How would you suggest cooking them for the first time?

earlier in the thread someone mentioned that they might not be good after they flower but you can eat the whole plant otherwise. the tops are more tender. boil them lightly the first time and then try the creamed nettles on toast. other than that you can eat them just like spinach. They are in my Big Three of really wonderful wild edibles, Nettles, Lambs quarters, and purslane. These three are also super high in omega 3 and antioxidents. Wild lettuce is nice to but it's a really strong flavour and super bitter if at all bolty. never had corn salat although I hear it's nice.

I know a few gardeners that don't bother growing any greens because they have good nettle and/or lambs quarter patches

some pics to aid in identification
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=stinging+nettle+pictures&id=BB6D08780771A48F3CF99AAA5614DD622E7FAB29&FORM=IQFRBA
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 11:29:35 AM by morticaixavier »
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Offline pinnah

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #219 on: May 25, 2012, 11:33:34 AM »
hey morticai, tell me about the purslane!  do you know how to eat/prepare that?
Creamed and on toast I guess? ;)

They enter my garden by the nton, super tiny seeds that I am convinced travel around in the irrigation water and get broadcast in my garden like hydromulch.

They form a nice succulent groundcover.  While I am sure I can't eat them all, eating a few might make it more acceptable to leave them be.




Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #220 on: May 25, 2012, 11:59:50 AM »
hey morticai, tell me about the purslane!  do you know how to eat/prepare that?
Creamed and on toast I guess? ;)

They enter my garden by the nton, super tiny seeds that I am convinced travel around in the irrigation water and get broadcast in my garden like hydromulch.

They form a nice succulent groundcover.  While I am sure I can't eat them all, eating a few might make it more acceptable to leave them be.

purslane is tricky, you can actually get cultivated varieties that spread a little less but if you've already got the other kind you can eat that to.

when young and tender you can eat them raw in salads. as they get older the get tougher so you might want to cook them. I like them in stir fry. the young tips are amazing in spring rolls. they have kind of a peppery/lemony intense flavour.

If they are anywhere near mature and you pull them out to try to rid your garden be aware that they will mature seed within hours of being pulled up and drop them whereever. it's really hard to get rid of once established.

different varieties have different flavour profiles so pinch a bit off and taste it to see if you like your variety.
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Offline bo

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #221 on: May 25, 2012, 01:12:49 PM »
I forgot that there are 2 things I try to stay away from, stinging nettle and bull nettle. I have the later.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #222 on: May 25, 2012, 02:24:22 PM »
I forgot that there are 2 things I try to stay away from, stinging nettle and bull nettle. I have the later.

ahh, I hadn't heard of bull nettle but according to this random guy on the internet the seeds and roots are edible
http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/07/bull-nettle.html

(and if you can't trust some random guy on the internet what can you trust? Disclaimer: before consuming any wild plant, check with a knowlegable person to ensure the edibility of said plant or plant part)
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Offline bo

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #223 on: May 25, 2012, 02:31:52 PM »
I forgot that there are 2 things I try to stay away from, stinging nettle and bull nettle. I have the later.

ahh, I hadn't heard of bull nettle but according to this random guy on the internet the seeds and roots are edible
http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/07/bull-nettle.html

(and if you can't trust some random guy on the internet what can you trust? Disclaimer: before consuming any wild plant, check with a knowlegable person to ensure the edibility of said plant or plant part)

I think I'll be saving this stuff for Roundup.

Thanks for all the input. Sorry for the mixup.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 02:33:36 PM by bo »

Offline andrew

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #224 on: May 25, 2012, 03:21:55 PM »
the garden is clipping along. Most of the potatoes have been dug, beets pickled, tomatoes and green beans are being their prolific selves, and the corn is in the process of being picked over the next week or two. The fruit trees (plums, pears, citrus, and figs) are growing good too.



My pineapple that has taken a beating of the past several months with lack of water and frost burn is still growing fruit. It will be its 2nd fruit in the past 5-6 years that I've had it.
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