useful herb

Useful Herb Good in the Kitchen, Good for the Garden

Dan Herbs, Specialty Crops, This Land of Ours

The super useful herb that’s good in the kitchen and good for your garden. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours. 

useful herb
Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettle) grown as a botanical specimen in Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Plant label shown in the lower right corner.
By Verbcatcher-Own work/CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Stinging Nettle is known to attract tons of beneficial insects, such as butterflies, is tasty in the kitchen, and has several proven medicinal uses. It’s a relative of mint plants, so it shares the same invasive quality. If you don’t manage these plants, they will take over your enter garden bed in a blink of an eye.

The young leaves are edible and can be used as a leaf vegetable, as with a purée
By Kobako – photo taken by Kobako/CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

The stinging hairs on nettle are meant to stop animals from eating them, but they also can sting humans, so don’t plant it near a walkway. Grow stinging nettle near plants that you don’t want deer and other critters to eat.

For years, Nettle has been used by farmers to boost growth and immunity in chickens. In humans, it acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, and antioxidant.

The fibers of the plant can be used similar to hemp and flax and can be used to make rope, cloth and paper.

Stinging nettle leaves should be cooked or dried before eating and they can be used much like spinach. Put it in eggs, soup, sauces, pesto, pizza, or pasta.

Listen to Cathy Isom’s This Land of Ours program here.

Useful Herb Good in the Kitchen, Good for the Garden