Teas the Season: Grow Your Own
Every season is tea season from fancying a cozy warm cuppa to a crisp cool tall glass.
And no, it's not about growing black pekoe in your garden. From the polished 17th-century apothecaries in London to the elderly mid-wife living in the dark glens of Scotland have been studying and using a variety of herbs, flowers, and "weeds" for soothing beverages and for medicinal uses.
As we begin the winter holidays, and especially during quarantine, we look to small comforts such as mulled wines, spiced ciders, and especially a cup of tea. The market shelves are filled with a variety of teas to choose from, but it can be as easy as going out to your garden or your own apothecary jars in your pantry.
|A loose tea blend of rose petals, peppermint, ginger, lavender, mugwort, orange peel, fennel, lemon balm, and chamomile.
In the flower garden, any edible flower can be used to make tea, but it's important to note, they may not all taste good. Rose petals, rose hips, lavender, hibiscus, passionflower leaf, chrysanthemum (two varieties: and chrysanthemum, jasmine, or calendula is perfect for the popular "blooming teas." If you have raspberries and blackberry bushes in your yard, harvest and dry their leaves for tea. Like their fruit, these leaves provide antioxidants.
|Rose Petals (Center) Clockwise from top: Hibiscus, Chamomile, Cinnamon Bark, Calendula, Lavender, Mugwort, and Spearmint
And while you're shopping, don't forget tea infusers. They come in handy and keep you from swallowing a leaf or a bud - unless of course you don't mind that extra bit of fiber or you're waiting for a tasseography practitioner to read your tea leaves to tell your fortune.
|A variety of tea infusers for pots, single cups, and reusable cotton muslin bag
Warning! Do you not use any weeds or flowers that have been sprayed. Always research before ingesting any new plant you may not be familiar with.