Monday 26 April 2010

A spring detox for all

It's nettle time again! After nearly three weeks of April sun, my fields are parched and dry, and the frosty nights mean the grass has still not come through. But the wind changed slightly on Sunday, bringing a rain shower on warmer winds, and in anticipation of the first flush of grass, I have been brewing up nettle and goosegrass tea.

Luckily nettles and goosegrass ( or cleavers, or stickyweed - whatever you choose to call it) grow together, and it takes no time to pick a bucketfull. Onto these I poured a kettle of hot water, and left them to brew all day. By evening, I strained off the juice, and used that to soak a couple of handfuls of dried grass each for the ponies. I will probably do this every day this week. At this time of year, this is a good detox and 'pick me up' for them, particularly any who are prone to laminitis, and they all enjoy it.

Everybody drained their buckets!
And at home, in the kitchen, we had lentil and nettle curry, and we too cleaned our plates. But I have had to point out (again) to my smallest son that you CANNOT eat everything that grows, as he was sent home from school yesterday for eating daffodil flowers in the playground. Thankfully he was none the worse for it :)


Madeleine said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - looks quite tasty. What's detoxifying about it? Maybe I should try daffodils because the young son seemed as bouncy as ever when I saw him this morning.

I remember being very cautious of poisonous plants as a child though we did play 'fly away Peter, fly away Paul' with Foxgloves (digitalis) and were never the worse for it. While we didn't eat the foxglove flowers, undoubtedly we had essence of Fosglove on hands and fingers. Laburnam was another that we understood would cause instant death; so dangerous was it considered that I had a rreverential respect for it. How on earth did the adults make us fear and respect poisonous plants?

We made up for steering clear of poisonous plants by lack of respect in other ways though.

Valerianna said...

I know its probably NOT funny that your son ate the daffodil flowers! But I DID laugh quite a bit.. after all, they do look scrumptious - and, if you can eat dandelions, why not daffodils? I imagine that can be quite confusing to a young child.....!

Time to go brew some nettles, thanks for the reminder!
Valerianna at RavenWood Forest

Tammie Lee said...

This sounds healthy as can be.
I actually do something similar for myself and friends. My recent favorite is 2/3 cup of Nettles (dry), dried elderberries, oatstraw- pour boiling water over it for the day then drink through out the day.

Karen said...

The curry sounds yum. Are you going to post the recipe ? Would love to try it :)

Clare Wassermann said...

aha I must try this - I saw a programme called The Edible Garden last week and they were eating goosegrass - I have plenty so will try it. My kids like the fact that we call it Sticky Willy in these parts!

Kath said...

I'm glad you talked about nettles, I have been meaning to try making some nettle tea myself. Any tips?

Danielle Barlow said...

Madeleine - nettles and goosegrass, together with dandelion and burdock, are a classic combination for liver detoxifying and 'blood purification', for people and animals( and are the main ingredients of any of the commercial herbal laminitis supplements)
Valerianna - yes, we laughed too, quite a lot. He was very sheepish, and I think understands the seriousness of it now - he had to miss supper, so that he had 6 hours clear of eating and drinking, just in case he became ill!
Tammie Lee - I've not tried oatstraw, though I make elderberry gin as a 'tonic'. I shall have to try it :)
Karen - I will post the recipe :)
Clare - I shall have to tell my kids you call it Sticky Willy - they will think it hilarious!
Kath - No tips for nettle tea - I have to admit I prefer to eat them as a vegetable, the tea is a little insipid :)

Julia Guthrie said...

I've not been brave enough to try nettles yet...perhaps one day :)
I only recently discovered that goosegrass is edible!!
Although my dog goes mad for it in the summer...if she finds a particularly yummy clump she will stand munching away like a cow for ages.
Much to my amusement, & that of passers by. I just have to stand there & shrug...she will not budge. LOL

Yarrow said...

Great recipe, I must make some for our boys as they are clearly lacking in vitamins. I've been feeding them mixed herbs etc, but a good tonic is a great start to the season, especially as ponies are more prone to dreaded laminitis.

Merlin will eat just about anything but Toffee is so incredibly fussy for a chubby pony!!!

Velma Bolyard said...

reading about your ponies and work is a delight. i just love the photo of the app pony finishing up the spring potion. that is EXACTLY what a horse keeper sees.


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