Today Jess and I joined Slow Food Minnesota for a day of foraging in preparation for the third annual Where the Wild Things are Spring Feast. We spent the first part of the day foraging around some of the pasture for chickweed, lambs quarters and nettles. After returning for weigh in at the farm house it was determined that we still needed more nettles so Ralph led us to a corner of his property that had fields of nettles and we set out to pick as many as we could. It was just Jess a guy named Kelly and myself. We were told we needed to just pick the very tops and that we needed 50 lbs of them. As we were picking and getting stung I had time to think. At around a gram apiece we were going to have to pick just a pit over twenty two thousand nettle tops. I am not sure if we got them all but we put in a heck of an effort.
When we got back the farm house everyone was already busy washing and sorting all the salad greens that we had gathered earlier in the day. The three nettle pickers took a second to weigh our haul from this trip and it came to just under twenty five pounds (eleven thousand nettle tops)! Then we started to settle in to the task of washing, drying and sorting the greens for the salad tomorrow. We spent the rest of the evening picking over salad greens and drinking the occasional beer and chatting about all things sustainable and slow. We had an excellent dinner and wrapped up the greens cleaning. While another crew cleaned the amazing pile of ramps they had managed to find.
Seriously that is one mondo pile of ramps!
We brought our the ducks and chickens the stems from the chickeweed we sorted and now if you will excuse me I am going to go pass out and dream of nettles.