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May 10, 2012 / jcapranos

Spring Harvests

I haven’t had much time to blog lately as I’ve been so busy putting in the garden and harvesting spring herbs. Here’s what I’ve been up to this week

Freshly harvested nettle tops

As most Salt Spring Islanders know, nettle can be used as any other tender green one would eat. Nettle pesto, nettle soup, nettle stirfry, sauteed nettle, and a more decadant treat….

Nettle lasagna!

The lasagna went over very well in my home. The trick is to steam the nettles then SQUEEZE the water out of them fairly well before combining with ricotta cheese.  Seen here: gluten-free lasagna noodles, home-made tomato sauce, nettle mixed with ricotta, and a little organic mozarella on top. Total prep & cook time under 1 hour!

For more info about nettles, see my blog post all about them here and here.

I also made a litre of an amazingly potent Cleavers tincture. Cleavers are a very humble yet incredible powerful little healer.

Cleavers (Galium aperine) a powerful herb that acts upon the bladder and lymph glands.

Cleavers can be a real gem for those who suffer from recurrent glandular and bladder infections. Cleavers has been used in western herbalism as a gentle, non-toxic yet very powerful mover of cellular waste. It’s usually found in immune and skin herbal formulas. For more info on how to make your own fresh plant tinctures, see my post from last summer here.

I’ve been enjoying watching the first calendulas open and adding them to my salads. Once there are enough calendula’s open and sunny, I’ll harvest them to make an oil and a tincture.

I loving adding Oregon Grape flowers (Mahonia aquifolium) to my salads. One of my absolute favourite tastes of spring! If you haven’t nibbled on these yet, I highly recommend you try them.

And I just planted Ashawagandha starts. I’ve never grown this herb before –  I’m very eager to get to know it more intimately.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, and is known as an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens help the strengthen your resistance to stress while also increasing energy.

What have you been harvesting?

Okay, back to the field!

Jamie

2 Comments

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  1. / May 11 2012 11:45 AM

    Wow, the nettle lasagne looks awesome! I need to find a patch of nettles large enough to make this!
    And I just saw some cleavers behind the garage while I was gathering plantain — I think I know where those will be headed!

  2. / May 11 2012 5:41 PM

    Yes, nettles, in most things are amazing, but in the lasagna especially as it creates just an incredible set of flavours! I hope you have success finding nettles, they can be found in partly shaded areas, behind garages, in watery ditches, and other neglected environments. Good luck and let me know how it goes!
    Jamie

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