Posted by: oceannah | May 8, 2013

The smug gardener and nettle pie

stinging nettles

Stinging Nettles are finally at a harvestable size. Nettles are hands down one of my favorite wild greens.

First the Nettles.  If you are fortunate enough to have stinging nettles in your yard or area go forth and harvest them!  Although they can ‘sting’ if you are not careful, harvesting with gloves on or with care makes the task pain free.  The sting is caused by the formic acid in the hairy protrusions covering the stem.  Once cooked the sting is gone and all you are left with is a delicious and nutritious wild food.  My favorite application for nettles is Nettle Pie.  In my case this is a crust free pie, but surely if you favor a crust any would be fine here.  I take a mess of nettles and saute them in a bit of butter.  Once they are wilted and uniformly cooked remove them from the heat.  Scatter a handful of chopped chives which are also up now and mix in several nice fresh eggs.  If there’s cheese in your fridge a few passes over the grater will enhance the pie.  Season lightly with salt and pepper then pour the ingredients into a 350 degree C oven for about 25-30 minutes until just barely set in the center.  Allow to cool before cutting.  Delicious and loaded with good nutrients.

On being smug:  What else can a gardener feel when waking up to a terrific spring rain (our first!) after spending many hours planting and weeding?  Smugness, I’ll relish that for today alone, as a gardener, I know all too well there will be events in the very near future that will not engender such a feeling.

Currently up in our vegetable garden:  Asparagus, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, onions, strawberries- a HUGE amount this year, as well as bumper crop of chickweed.

There are lots of flowers both domestic and wild and our fruit trees are flowering.

Yesterday’s planting included raddichio, several varieties of lettuces, two rows of spring mix salad, kale- winterbor and lancianato, early jersey wakefield cabbages, tat soi, scallions, collards, endives, and I even took a chance on a row of haricort verts.  The 10 day looks promising enough.  I may have forgotten something, as I was keen to get the planting done and the strawberries weeded before the rain.  Job done!

What’s up in your garden today?  Are any of you on the fence about putting in a garden this year?  I’m considering adding a page to this blog for Q&A directed to beginning gardeners.  If you have any thoughts on that I’d appreciate you putting the bug in my ear.

We found an awesome place to take the bicycles out for trail rides yesterday and today my legs are feeling those hills 🙂

Happy Smug-day to you all.



  1. you are inspiring me to get going on my garden–it is tilled and ready

    • the earth is waiting…add a few seeds and watch the magic 🙂


  2. also I would love it if you did a Q and A

    • Thanks LouAnn, I’m hoping to set it up in the next few weeks.

  3. It is an amazing feeling to look at your garden bursting forth after so much hard work…smug is a good word! 🙂

    • It always amazes me too Audrey! Your gardens are looking lovely btw 🙂

      • Thank you, Anna. The second season has amazed us!

      • And me too!! You are planting a legacy Audrey.

  4. LOVE the idea of a Q&A… No such thing as too much information; )

    • I love the ‘idea’ too Deb, haven’t done more than think about it tho 😉 yet.

      • LOL! If I had a dollar for every “idea”…

      • awww yeah…I hear that a lot 😉
        You have a fine way with words gal!

      • Hey, thanks Anna! (Now you’ve got me blushing; )

      • 😀

      • Hi there! Was talking to FarmGal this morning and I mentioned your “chickocide”… “Weasel!” she stated unequivocally. So, that explains it right? MUCH nastier than a cat!!

      • Deb, b/c of the total kill and only two eaten up I also thought weasle on my first glance…But we don’t have many up here on the Plateau. The river is a fair 3+ miles from here. I guess the only one in the know is the pup and he’s not talkin’ 😉

      • Yeah, really eh? And, if anybody really does need to get it of his chest, it’d be the poor witness…
        (So, I’m sending plenty of pats for your poor pooch; ) LOL! Don’tcha just LOVE sibilance and onomatpoeia?!

      • heee heee heee…Deb you are a delight 😉
        I loved reading about your meet & greet w/ farm girl btw 🙂

      • *off*, meant “off” not “of”! But you knew that anyway; )

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