Home Grown Tea
Not everyone is a tea person, a nice cupa in the morning is one of my favorite treats. What? Tea a treat? So I am a tea-aholic I can't help my addiction. When I was a kid I hated Lipton teas, which was my only encounter with tea until I got much older. My mother would nurse our colds and flu with Chamomile and honey and that is where my love for tea started.
Now days, I grow my own herbs for tea and I make my own Kombucha. I am a huge supporter of using teas to increase my health and rid my ailments. I used to be a very conservative tea drinker sticking to traditional English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Chamomile. I would often add milk and sugar to my black teas like I would with coffee. As I entered university I began to expand my horizons to green teas and oolongs. I stayed in that realm for over a decade until I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. My life was flipped upside down and everything changed.
This unfortunate event in my life led me to a healthier and happier life, which inevitably encouraged both myself and my sister Sophie to start Marigold Farms. So back to tea, I had been overly excited about browsing the many stores on Etsy and came across this tea store called, Amitea. Amitea Organics is the name of the store today and its owner Judy has been a blessing to me and my health. I was so overwhelmed and excited at the many different flavors of tea she created. So I ordered some safe flavors that wouldn't scare me off. Turns out I loved them and within six months I started ordering all sorts of teas, even some of her exotic flavors like Strawberry Papaya Green Tea, which is my daughter's favorite. I swear by her Elderberry Rose it really puts me at ease, but thanks to Judy I am more confident in growing and combining my own flavors based on how I am feeling. Don't get me wrong, even though I grow my own herbs for tea, I still buy from Judy. She is my official, "Tea Lady."
So I was very nervous about starting my own tea garden, but after careful consideration I realized that I was drinking three to four pots of tea a day I set forth and started my garden. The garden is small at the moment only two feet by six feet, I considered a test garden. Once, I figure out my favorite combinations I will expanded the garden. I currently grow peppermint (careful with this invasive plant), lemon verbena, stevia, and tulsi basil. The peppermint is nice to grow because I harvest it more often and I drink a lot of peppermint tea. I am finding I will need to double the amount of lemon verbena and stevia because the combination is delicious. I just planted my tulsi basil and can't wait until I get a chance to make this into a tea. Usually I harvest enough leaves so that the plant can still survive, with peppermint I harvest as much as possible because it truly is a fighter.
Sophie just recently turned me on to an amazing book about herbs called, The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody. It was hard to find, but I was able to get a used copy online. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in herbalism. It has some great recipes for teas, tinctures, infusions, decoctions, infused oils, creams, and many more herbal remedies. The book allowed me to see an entirely different use for my teas and many combinations for different remedies.
If you love tea and love gardening I would highly encourage you to start a tea garden of your own. The rewards are priceless.
"We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it is our garden that nurtures us." -Jenny Uglow