My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

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Ouch! Stinging nettles. Edible?

My Dirt Time Believe it or not, stinging nettles are edible and are supposed to be quite tasty. I haven't eaten them yet myself, but keep eying them all over my land. Apparently the stems and leaves of the nettles have formic acid and thatís what makes you sting if you rub up against it. Many of us have experienced this stinging and I have in the past too. It really does hurt. After all, it is acid. However, if you pluck the young leaves and cook them up like spinach, the acid dissolves and Iím told the wild edible plant is quite tasty and is one of the better wild edibles out there.

If you're familiar with Jewelweed, youíll notice that were you to see it, you often see the plants that it works on. If you get the oil from poison ivy or the acid from stinging nettles on your skin, the jewelweed plant really works to cut down and even eliminate the effects of the two nasty plants. I end up using jewelweed on my kids and / or myself at least a couple times every year. It really does work. Just crush up the jewelweed to get the juices out and rub it on the affected spot to let it do itís work.

Besides being tasty, the stinging nettle is also very high in Vitamins A and C, as well as Protein, chlorophyll, phosphorus and iron. Thatís good to know. Not only am I into wilderness survival, but also urban survival and preparedness. Thatís the whole idea behind Try and imagine all the many scenarios that might lead to the average person, not even an outdoors person, in a situation where they would have a problem getting food from the grocery store. Grocery stores get food deliveries every day. What does that tell you? Grocery stores only have a few days worth of food on hand at any time. This is in normal circumstances. Letís say there is something as simple and conceivable as a problem with the trucking industry for example. It could be a strike or a serious gas crisis. Just two of the many ways that food supplies could disappear in your area. Of course it would have to be pretty bad for it to get to the point where you have to eat wild edible plants. But on the other hand, the vitamin C in the stinging nettle could be very important. It wasnít too long ago that my Grandfather made dandelion wine for example. Or in many old Italian neighborhoods, youíd see the mothers gathering dandelions from the lawn for dinner. Is all this inconceivable? No. We're so much smarter than our grandparents, huh? I don't think so. Itís just that people have become complacent and seem to think that the government will take care of them, or nah that wonít happen. Ask the people in New Orleans if the government will help you.

Wouldn't it be great to be able to gather a filling, tasty and nutritious meal from your back yard? You might be thinking, "Yes, that's why I hunt." I hunt too, but keep in mind that plants can't run away. It's not about the END OF THE WORLD - It's not about surviving a hypothetical PLANE CRASH - It's about the SATISFACTION YOU GET knowing you can take care of yourself and/or your family in ANY SITUATION, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

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