Their Hedge Row Picking would be our foraging and it was allowed with rules in place for those that could get out to their local farmers area but I imagine that the farmers used a fair amount of it themselves. They used them like we would use Spinach today..
Still, I was always very interested to know the many uses they used nettles, I will be giving nettles recipes, but in my book from England on the nettles comes this great story about the fact that in the dark of night, they went out and cut many nettles and dried them for dying purposes for the uniforms.
during World War I, the blockaded German Army of necessity reverted to nettles due to the shortage of cotton; it is reported that fully 85 percent of captured German uniforms were made from nettle. Once the nettle fabric is made, it can be dyed green with nettle, which has almost 5 milligrams of chlorophyll in every gram, one of the highest percentages in nature. During World War II, the British requisitioned 100 tons of nettles to make green dye for camouflage.
But lets go back to a great hedgerow green that is so healthy for those that are eating and drinking it..
I promised that I would also show a cooked, so I took half the plate, ran a knife over them a bit cutting the biggest leaves, put a bit of butter in the bottom of a pan, threw the nettles in and let them cook till dark dark green and well wilted, if you cook mustard greens or big older spinach leaves, you want a full wilt on these greens.. then I added in a cup of lovely pork bone broth, simmered till hot, added a tsp of sour cream and that was a light wonderful tasty soup! If you needed it to be more filling, bread on the side would do the trick as it was I had it for breakfast that day.