Ignoring the threatening trespassers will be prosecuted sign, we drove along the muddy track to get to this hidden valley. I knew there would be nettles here, but I didn't expect so many. The lush young leaves growing under the pine trees were the best. The nettles growing along the track in the sunshine had started to seed and they're not so nice to eat. If they start to rattle they're no good, a local youngster recently told me, referring to the sound the seeds make as you brush past the plants.
Armed with rubber gloves and scissors we picked a load then headed home. Nettle pesto or nettle risotto? I'm not sure yet. But if you blanch and freeze the leaves, you'll have enough nettles to see you through until you make your mind up. Whatever you chose it will be delicious.
An after school activity of the very best kind, trespassing, picking weeds that sting and helping with dinner. I am such a good mum. I think we'll back in March to pick the autumn flush.
PS. We did actually have the owner's permission to pick his weeds, I would never advise ignoring those signs around these parts.