As I was walking my children to school one morning I noticed familiar green leaves poking through the dark soil. These simple Cotyledons had an appearance that awakened a feeling of recognition.
Growing up with my grandma in a village of the high mountains of the Caucuses, every season heralded a new bounty. The arrival of this bounty decreed a series of steps that were required to be undertaken to fully utilise the earths goodness and to celebrate that time of the years cycle.
Upon closer inspection the small green leaves breaking through the neglected soil were the leaves of the Common Nettle Plant. (Urtica dioica)
Childhood memories were instantly awakened and my heart urged me to revive the recipes of my grandmother in my own kitchen some 13,000 km and a lifetime away from my original kitchen of tutelage in the mountains.
In that place the pace of life was very different. Suspended high in the mountains 5000 metres above sea level Nettles grew well., funny they seem to grow equally as well next to a train track in the Melbourne suburbs. So from a place where it feels that time has stopped to a place where life is noisy and brisk the same plant has risen and aroused memories long supplanted by the certainty of life in a foreign land
In the mountains you live observing the present and when certain greens break through the soil your soul is awakened and calls you to action.
That same action has called me again and I am reminded of the foods, drinks and medicine that must be shared with friends, family and now you.
These are 3 ways of using nettle I grew up with:
Brewed Nettle Tea ( great antioxidant, anti inflammatory, provides relief for urinary disorders)
Baked Nettle Pastries
Nettle leaves applied topically at the site of pain caused by arthritis or joint pain.
I’ve enjoyed sharing my nettle memories with you, please share yours with me.