Grow and Enjoy! Your Own Tea!

Why would you buy tea if you can grow it in your backyard? All of the plants  introduced below are growing very easily in our subtropical climate where I live 🙂 I’m  pretty sure that most of them will also grow in most climates zones, especially during the summer. Hope you enjoy this  article and the video 🙂

Are you adventurous enough to drink more than just one sort of tea? If so, why don’t you grow your own herbal teas yet? It is healthy, delicious and it grows just at the reach of your hand! The collection in this photo are only few of the wide range you can grow in our beautiful climate of the Fraser Coast.
Growing herbs and plants for tea is a permanent component of our food forest and not only a part of our sustainable living choices but also lots of fun having such a diversity in the cupboard. And look at the colours the nature is offering to us! All of them are either perennials or self-seeding plants and are all grown naturally without any chemicals. They need to be planted once, will grow happily together with other plants in a food tree guild or on its own, and just wait to be harvested at any time of the year.

I take my basket, cut what I like and let it dry in a safe place like a netting bag on the patio, in the pantry or in a dehydrator depending on the weather conditions.

All of the plants I grow and use for tea have multiple uses in the kitchen and so we also use them fresh harvested in the every day cooking. It is definitely worth growing it for the little care they require. The names of the plants used for tea you see in the image are:
Lemon Grass / Cymbopogan citratus
Cranberry Hibiscus / Hibiscus acetosellas
Butterfly Pea/ Blue Pigeon Wing / Clitoria ternatea (the purple and the blue one, with and without lemon juice)
Rosella / Hibiscus sabdariffa
Lemon Verbena / Aloysia citrodora
Lemon Balm / Melissa officinalis
Elderberry-flower /  Sambucus Nigra
Mulberry Leaf  / Morus Nigra

There are many other herbs and trees which grow easily and where the leaves or flowers make a delicious and healthy tea. Just to name a few trees where we also regularly use the leaves for tea: Mulberry, Mango, Cinnamon, Soursop. For the herbs I like to dry and store for tea the Mint is my favoritue!
All of them are so pretty that you can grow them at your front yard, too! The home grown herbal tea makes a beautiful gift for family and friends. It is also a great opportunity to involve kids in the “tea garden” and show them how easy and rewarding it is!

Few tips:

  • The best harvesting time is the morning after the dew has evaporated or just before the sunset
  • Collect only healthy looking leaves or flowers
  • You can make tea from fresh herbs but the dried leaves and flowers give more flavor
  • The perfect temperature for drying herbs is 40-50 degrees Celsius
  • The tea is ready for storage when the leaves are dry and crackly

Gardening tip for beginners: The better the soil the better the plant. There are many ways to enrich the soil naturally without using chemical fertilizer. Check my other articles and videos.

Yours… Ewa

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