Nourishing and enrichening

Some of the most beneficial plants I know

Today I’d like to share a great way to nourish the plants growing in your yards.

Get to know them. Help others to get to know these plants.

17 years ago, I cultivated a plot of Stinging Nettles in my backyard. They are an incredibly nourishing perennial (weed?) and I felt lucky to be living near where they grew wild.  By cultivating a plot in my yard, I didn’t have to go all the way down to the river to get my nettles, and then I’d know for sure that they weren’t sprayed with anything. Well, that is until the one neighbor mistook them for monster Godzilla weeds taking over the town, and that was years ago now. Actually, I didn’t know how large and wide the Nettles would grow. They started out as a couple 6 or 8 inch high sprouts dug up from the waters edge one day when I realized that my perpetually wet back lawn had conditions that Nettle would like to grow in – wet soil, clay, rich from years of rainwater flowing through. I prepared the ground, went to the river and asked the plants if they would be okay with me moving them back to my yard. When I felt a “yes”, I carefully brought home a couple of plants. They grew into the huge patch you see in these pictures. I harvest them every year to brew fantastic tasting and the most nourishing tea/infusion you’ll ever find, as well as a great steamed herb. Cooking takes away the stinging part of Stinging Nettles.

At some point I want to share how to ask plants questions like is it okay to move you, but for now, how would I help passerbys to know that these fantastic plants are not weeds, and not to touch. They don’t call them “Stinging Nettles” for no reason.

I decided to make a sign.

A start!

Stinging Nettles Rock!

It’s a little bit rudimentary looking, but it gets the idea across. If people like it I’ll paint a really nice one. So how did Nettles end up here?

I’m delighted to think maybe others will start revisualizing their backyards in a new inherently beneficial way to utilize the natural beauty and richness in this good soil and air.

I've already harvested the 1st cutting

Here is the view from the little parking area next door. I do hope they like it and appreciate that while it may not win any signmaking awards, it’s an attempt to reach out and connect with the people in my neighborhood, and to spread more understanding and ideas to nourish ourselves as a community.

Now if only the loud vehicles would stop zooming by, I could get some peace and quiet here. Couldn’t the nice people with the loud trucks and motorcycles tone it down? I love the peaceful feeling of a summer’s evening, everything slowing down and a cool breeze blowing through the open windows…

Time to sit with the Nettles again.