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An Amazing Summer Solstice: Strawberries and Stinging Nettle

5:39 PM

My youngest daughter is currently potty training, AND has switched into a big girl bed... in the last week and a half.   She woke me up at 5:00am this morning.  The sun was up, the birds were singing and she was excited!

I decided to take a meditative "weed walk" this morning at 6:00am.  Yesterday, I had brought my daughter to the swimming hole, and had seen a lot of weeds.  Most notably, to me, was a huge abundance of stinging nettle...

As a child, I grew up on the same creek that I bring my girls to on our hikes.  One time, when the neighborhood boys and I went down there to look for newts, we got into a patch of stinging nettles.  Our legs were on FIRE for the rest of he afternoon.  We spent the next several hours pool-hopping, hoping that the cool water and the chlorine would somehow help ease the sting... it didn't.

Many years later, I read about the health benefits of making teas and infusions out of dried stinging nettle. I used to buy it in bulk, prepared... so I didn't have to deal with the sting.

And now, there it was on my path... inches away from my toddler's legs...

What a beautiful opportunity.  I decided to take this day, the Summer Solstice, the lightest day of the year, to shine some light on my fears and negative thoughts through walking meditation... and I took a bag, gloves, and rubber boots with me to act out this light shining exercise by harvesting and becoming allied with stinging nettle.  I made a potato nettle soup, started a nettle beer, and hung up 10 bunches of nettle to dry for tea and infusions.

I sorted, washed, weighed and deligated nettle to 3 purposes.

2 of these containers full were used to make Nettle Beer.

This bowlful was used to make a potato-nettle soup

And these bunches are hanging up to dry.

And if that wasn't enough to keep me busy, we also went strawberry picking!

We got 6 quarts, and one last small harvest of rhubarb.  I'll be putting together a strawberry wine, strawberry rhubarb jam, and a fresh strawberry cake in the next few days. This week should be fun!

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