How to Harvest and Prepare Nettles
From Kari Diehl, former About.com Guide
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Gloves On ...Cut Your Nettles!
photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed to About.com
Look for tender young plants, put on your gloves, and cut off only the upper leaves (no larger than about 3” wide). Check the undersides of the leaves to make sure there is no white spittle present. You’ll save yourself a lot of effort (and perhaps a few stings) later by cutting the leaves from the stems as you go. If you’re pressed for time, though, you can cut the upper third of the young plants (about 5” from the top) and separate the leaves from the stalks when you get home.