A couple weekends ago my husband Matt, my apprentice Fox, my co-worker Miriam and I went on our first Nettle harvest of the year. The crop was young and the plants were no more than five inches tall. This particular stand of Nettles I had not visited for several years and was curious to see if I could spot any changes to the health of the stand. Since only about 30% of the colony has even sprouted I found it difficult to judge. However, I could still see many of last years dead stalks which was an indicator as to how dense, tall, and spread out the plants have grown.
I explained to my apprentice how best to caretake this particular plant so that it will still thrive in the seasons to come. I showed her how I like to clip just above the second or third node from the top so that within a few weeks it will re-sprout another (or maybe even two) new tops.
Harvesting Stinging Nettle that day was also an excuse for me to try out my newly designed harvesting belt. It isn’t very fancy, simply a carpenter’s belt found at Goodwill with a carpenter’s pouch still attached. On the left side of the belt I chose to attach my Mora knife and on the right my hand clippers.
The leather pouch is useful for the smaller objects that I like to carry around when I am harvesting and IDing plants. So far it holds:
Botany kit: (loupe, probe, six inch ruler, razor knife)
Feral Botanicals First Aid Stick Salve
Sharpie and Notebook
Several tincture bottles depending on my needs
Soon I hope to add a Hori Hori knife to my belt once I get a nice one.
I was impressed with the ease of using the belt that day. I could easily reach behind me to grab something and my clipper holster was always right there for easy grabbing.
In conclusion – I loved it! I am sure there will be improvements in the future but for now it’s juuuuuust right.
Now I will leave you with a picture of a premature baby goat named Whiskey.