Friday, May 22, 2015

Grow a “TEA”Pot

You can make refreshing iced teas from many of the plants and herbs in your garden. You’ll discover that a little experimentation with various herbs will result in interesting and refreshing iced teas that surpass any mix you can buy in the store. Start with a base of regular green tea.  As you grow in experience you can use other favorite teas as a base.  Green tea is a good one for starters because it is mild and mixes readily with other flavors.
Here’s a list of plants that might already be growing in your garden to flavor teas:

Monarda/Bee Balm                       Raspberry
Strawberry                                       Lemon Thyme
Valerian                                            Chamomille
Clove Pinks                                        Anise Hyssop
Lemon Balm                                     Mints
Juniper                                               Lavendar
Nasturitum                                       Strawberry
Sage                                                   Pineapple sage
Lemon Basil                                      Rose petals
Sweet Violet

When used medicinally, these concoctions are called Tisanes.  What we are going for here is refreshing flavor, so call it what you will!

The process for making your tea is simple. Bring cool water to boil in a large stainless steel pot.  While waiting for the water to come to boil, take a walk through your garden and gather two to three stems of  each variety of herbs you want to flavor your tea.  Wash them in cool water and bunch together with a clean rubber band. When the water is boiling, remove from the heat and add green tea bags.  For my large stock pot, l use an entire box of green tea bags because I want it strong, you can always add water.  After the tea bags, add your bunches of herbs and allow to steep overnight.
The next morning, remove the bags and herbs to your compost bucket.  Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer.  This removes any stray leaves but more importantly re-aerates the tea which greatly improves flavor.  Sweeten to taste, if desired with honey or Stevia products. Store the concentrate in a covered pitcher in the fridge, ready for drinking when you want it.

 Convenience tends to play a role in what gets done or used from the garden.  You can plant a TEA”Pot of your favorite herbs and keep it right near your door for easy harvest.

What You Need:
-A large planting container you can put in a sunny spot for most of the day
-four to five plants whose flavors you enjoy
-potting soil

What you do:
1.    Fill the container ¾ full of potting soil and arrange your plants placing the taller growers to the center and the shorter ones to the outside. For this one I used Anise Hyssop, Curly Spearmint, Chocolate mint . Lemon Balm and Sweet Violet, a favorite combination.
2.    Fill in the spaces with additional potting soil and water well.
3.    Place in a spot easy to reach and let it grow!

No comments:

Post a Comment