arontius: (Justin's Device)
.....Well, I know of a new definition for a true friend. Someone who'll drive miles out in the middle of nowhere, don some gloves, and pull stalks of stinging nettle to help someone with an experiment. :-)

.....This afternoon, [ profile] renartthefox and I went over to his in-laws house outside of Quilcene on the other side of the Hood Canal in search of the wily stinging nettle. I'd been striking out here locally in Kitsap County. All the places I looked were either strip-mined, or had very minimal numbers. Renart and his Father-In-Law have been trying to eradicate them from their homestead for years. So we hiked the property and pulled a pretty good stack and tossed them in the back of Renart's pick-up.

.....However, we hit the mother-load on the way down the mountainside running out of the homestead. Both Renart and I pulled a couple of armloads of stalks, nice heavy ones, and put them in the pick-up.

.....At Renart's house we transferred the harvest from the pick-up into the Subaru for the final trip home. We timed it almost perfectly as the rain started coming down on the way home from Kingston.

.....I did not escape unscathed though. The warning to wear long sleeved shirts should be obeyed. My forearms are all red and puffy from where they brushed nettle. It is stinging pretty damned good now and it has been a couple of hours since they were hit.

.....[ profile] countess_e suggested that once harvested the nettle should be spread out in a dry, relatively warm, area so that the stalks dry out thoroughly. I've been completely intrigued by Countess E's flax harvest and am excited to see the process of turning the flax into linen. I read years ago that the same methods can be used on nettle. So we're going to follow along in Countess E's footsteps and see what happens. I think it could be fun, and definitely interesting.

.....Countess E. gave me an amount on Tuesday which approximated around an armload. I am hoping we collected enough:


.....I'll check in with her this weekend and get her thoughts on what we collected.

.....I definitely owe Renart though. Collecting nettle is not for the mild mannered, and he was a trooper. :-) Thanks, Renart!

.....Aaron / Arontius.


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