All the parts of the plant can be used

It’s fiddly and time consuming.

It helps to stamp on the stems to really break them up

Stamp on the stems to break them up then open them up at the notches on the stem

It’s difficult to remove the pith from the fibers and the first time I did it, I wasn’t really removing the pith, just destroying the fibers. This is a skilled task.

The nodes where the branches grow from provide tough obstacles to tearing the fibers once you’ve removed the pith. However, these are good places to start digging out the pith.

Discard the pith onto the compost. I plan to make paper with the discarded lower leaves (top leaves are for soup). Not sure if the pith could go into the pot for the paper.

Stems on the left for making twine, nettle tops in the container for making soup, lower leaves on the right for making paper

It’s difficult to tear the fibers so you get long ones. Still need practice on this.

Am wondering if it’s possible to weave the fibers (once I get enough) into Jamaican woven fish, normally made from palm fronds which are much wider.

The Jamaican woven fish activity is from this book, borrowed from Minet Library

These were our attempts in the May walk.

Photo by Luschka

Photo by Luschka

Then in June, we spotted this plant. Ramya had given us the challenge to find a plant to create a plate we could eat from. This one got us talking.

So we picked a few fronds and had a go.

Brenda's hands. She managed to make a necklace in the end.

What else could be made?