If you're interested in gathering nettles yourself, they are best picked before they reach a foot tall; between now and April or so in the PNW. Harvest the tops, as these are the most tender. Use scissors to do so, and don't forget to bring gloves! (That is, unless you're like my friend Rita, who can gather them with her bare hands! But such things are only for the realm of enlightened masters...)
Nettles can be prepared into all kinds of dishes, from nettle pesto to quiche and pizza - so long as they're blanched in boiling water for a few minutes first, lest you sting your tongue. They are also delicious dried for nourishing teas and herbal infusions, which is a favorite way to take in their food and medicine all year long.
I do hope you'll try them. There's nothing like gathering your own food and medicine from the wild.
Happy nettle hunting!