Spring Nettle Soup! Wisdom of Old?

The last blog  “ Was it a Wise Way for Kids to Grow Up? ” written by Marion produced some interesting discussion.

A key question was:

“Is there a role for older wisdom in today’s world?“ 

Seemed a shame to have it tucked away under Comments, so here is a quick summary.

From Alice to Marion and all of us.

I agree that that the discussion is a good one to have with our children etc. but I wonder if our glasses have become rose tinted as we look back over the years. That whole, ‘it never rained during the summers of our childhood’, syndrome.

I certainly do not want to return to an era where children didn’t wear seat belts in a car, and didn’t wear helmets on a bike, I also do not want to return to a time when pregnant women were encouraged to drink and smoke and when I would have lost my two sons due to diabetes.

I also do not want to return to a time when racism and bigotry was seen as acceptable, ‘No Blacks or Irish,’ signs in windows, a time where back street abortions were often the only option for, ‘fallen women.’

I think there is good and bad in every generation and our role as parents, grandparents and citizens of the world is to take the good from our pasts, the ‘den making and worms’, part of childhood and to incorporate them in the our present.

We have not got it right – not even close – but please let us not ‘diss’ a generation because we do not understand them or that they play with different toys to us. The child playing on her computer may be the scientist in the future that finds an algorithm that saves many, many lives.

To conclude I welcome the picture you attached with your article – it clearly shows modern children doing a bit of stream exploration and being very much amazed by their findings!

Let’s not blame them if they return home to spend an hour building an Ancient Egyptian online city. Surely the beauty of today’s society is that we can do both.

Let’s take the best of our past, incorporate the positive from our present and create a future we can all feel proud of.

Me replying to Alice:

Thank You!  I agree with everything you say. Different times different lives and we move on too.
But I was happy to put Marion’s  piece out because it raises exactly that kind of discussion.
We shouldn’t forget past ways or assume they were bad and the reverse!

My Mother always had a tradition where she made us eat nettles in the spring.

Usually as Nettle soup. Often with wild garlic in it. Or like spinach.


They were the earliest green things available in the Spring. She said they cleared your blood.  She didnt seem to know that actually, as we now know, they were an antidote to the Winter scurvy. In earlier years there was a serious lack of fresh veg. over the winter.

The Wise message that they were good and should be eaten in the Spring was passed on to my Mum, by her Mum and then to me by folklore.  But the reason got lost!

Maybe we older people know more than we think?

From Alice:

Thanks for coming back to me – I actually firmly believe our wisdom is held by the older generation and it is their duty to hand it down to us and our duty to remember so we can in turn hand it down…including Nettle soup.


Anyone else like to contribute?  

Do we have Folk wisdom or maybe instincts that Nature expects an older generation to pass on?

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