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Growing Herbal Teas at Home

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posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 12:51 PM
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Hi, and I hope you’re enjoying your Saturday!

From the (admittedly) few years I’ve invested in gardening so far, I've been able to better discern which crops attract the most bees (chives, raspberries, corn, pumpkin, bee balm, salvia are some of the faves), which crops grow best in the rather harsh climate where I live, and which are the most productive/profitable to grow.

I’ve decided that one of the most profitable, bee-friendly, beneficial, and useful crops I can grow is herbs. Fresh herbs are costly at the store and often don’t come in the needed amount for any given recipe. By growing one’s one herb garden, the option to pick out a small amount of fresh flavors for cooking and baking is always there. Most herbs will overwinter, and grow back year after year. They often attract bees and repel pests. Most herbs are not finicky and will grow in well drained soil and an adequate amount of light. The scent of an herb garden is wonderful!
If you have limited growing space, herbs can thrive in pots or even inside your home.

But there’s even more benefits to growing one’s own garden--herbs provide medicine and health as well. I wrote a recent thread about two herbs which promote respiratory health--anise hyssop and horehound--and to piggyback off that thread, I’d like to explore how to grow one’s own herbal tea garden.

I’ll post the info I’ve found so far, but would welcome any advice/tips/etc any of our members have to share. I’m new at this, and therefore lack any words of wisdom, even if I have the amateur’s enthusiasm. Please feel free to chime in with any experience you’ve had growing herbs for tea!

I have a number of tea-making plants already growing on my property, and bought a bunch of seeds this year to expand. (Growing Zone 5b)

So far I’m cultivating:
Raspberry berries/ leaves
Blueberry berries/leaves
Strawberry berries/leaves
Peach leaf/bark
German Thyme
Lemon Thyme
Lemon Balm
Bee Balm
Spearmint
Chocolate Mint
Lavender
Roses
Echinacea


And I hope to add these new varieties:
Chocolate daisies (edible)
Anise hyssop
Horehound
Blue Borage
Bronze Fennel
Moldavian Dragonhead Balm
Butterfly Pea Flower
German Chamomile

(I think that’s it)

My goal is to harvest the tea leaves/berries/flowers, dehydrate each separately and store in jars where I can mix and match my own tea recipes/blends. (Also to dehydrate herbs for cooking).
Maybe even to work toward a small local business of tea/scones.

Here is an awesome link for information regarding growing, harvesting, and blending herbal teas:
joybileefarm.com...

Thanks for reading, friends! Looking forward to hearing from some current or hopeful herb gardeners!



edit on 20-2-2021 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 12:58 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Cool info. Thanks!
A friend recently turned me on to an organic Chinese smoked pine tea that was so amazing I went and bought some.
It was around $10 per oz., which I guess is kinda steep for tea. Pun intended.



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:01 PM
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a reply to: ColeYounger

Lol, awesome tea pun! You know, I came across and for what ever reason kind of skimmed over info on pine tea. I'll have to give that a better look.

Thank you!!




posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:10 PM
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I like the sage plant, but they don't do so well inside during the winter. After a few years they die off. It is a pretty and fragrant plant. I take the dead leaves off and use them for soups. I then bring the potted sage plant outside again in the summer, but it dies off the next winter, and I use the leaves for soup and discard the rest.

We have Marjoram taking over the side of the deck, that comes up every year. I should plant sage outdoors but it would probably have to be replanted every year even though it is supposed to come up for years. Too much freezing weather and snow here I guess to get it to be perenial.

There are birch tree mushrooms around here to make tea out of and other natural tea plants too, but I drink coffee most often. The sage goes good in chicken broth to sip at on a cold night, better than buying Ramen. I bought a pound of rubbed sage this winter, haven't even opened that yet, but a pound will last us maybe two years or so for soups and broths.



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:17 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

I've always preferred coffee to teas.

:-D

Not sure if my new investment will pan out well or not, but I'm really looking forward to trying certain flavors in particular, like anise hyssop and lemon balm. The butterfly pea plant makes a gorgeous blue tea which I might try to flavor with blueberries.

I'm excited to expand my drinking repertoire to teas also--maybe it can be an afternoon thing for me.

Thanks for the information on sages/teas!!
That broths sounds delicious.



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

I have a lot of those growing also.
This year I am growing some of the tiny alpine strawberries too.
I'm lucky enough to have bee balm everywhere because it grows wild here.

I accidentally let chocolate mint get out of hand at my last house. I did not even plant it in the soil directly, it was
in a planter, but got really big and climbed over and some seeds got loose too. ooops!



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Rosemary is my absolute number one favorite herb to grow and eat. I love that flavor.

I have grown sage a number of years and love the look and feel of those leaves, but haven't utilized it well in food.

I'm planting dill for the second time this year--hope I can figure out how to maintain it better before it goes to flower.




posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:22 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

I always plant my mint in a pot--forgot to mention in OP how invasive it can be!

Isn't chocolate mint wonderful?



Enjoy those little strawberries. If they're anything like the ones I tried in Switzerland (tiny strawberries on the side train tracks-a local pointed them out to us) they'll be among the sweetest things you've ever tasted.

Happy growing, JAG!
edit on 20-2-2021 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:28 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

I once had the most gorgeous, potted herb garden on the porch. I had various heights of plant holders and beautiful pots. I would make cuttings from the plants, gather them together with ribbon and hang them upside down to dry. It was such a pleasure having these cuttings drying around the house. I would then find pretty shaped jars and keep them there until ready to use.

You sound like you have a wonderful collection there.
I would love to see pics of your garden when it is ready.



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

I agree that chocolate mint is wonderful. It is amazing what Mother Earth offers us.



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:32 PM
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a reply to: Night Star

Wonderful idea about finding beautiful/interesting glass jars for the storage.

Thanks, Night! I'll post pictures right here on this thread once stuff starts growing.

I'm sure your herb garden was beautiful. What a lovely memory.




posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:35 PM
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originally posted by: zosimov
a reply to: rickymouse

Rosemary is my absolute number one favorite herb to grow and eat. I love that flavor.

I have grown sage a number of years and love the look and feel of those leaves, but haven't utilized it well in food.

I'm planting dill for the second time this year--hope I can figure out how to maintain it better before it goes to flower.



I had dill growing around here for about three years, we used some of it to make tarter sauce years ago and for freezer pickles once too. It grows well, but again, it came up only for three summers and died off. I also have traveling onions out in a little garden area, they come up every year but last year they didn't do well for some reason and I fear I will have to get more of the pods from a friend this spring. It is good to have perenial plants like that in the yard, the traveling onions can be used like green onions when you need a few. I wish I could get garlic to take over an area, it would be nice to get garlic wild around here. It works for a friend of mine, he had it coming up for ten years but it all died off one winter. Chives are good and so are mint plants, we still have mint in the yard, but the chives were in an area I decided to level and they died off pretty much. A few are mixed in with the yard grass yet, but most are gone now. I should get a big bag of seed and plant them off to the side, they are great medicinal plants. I have wild Yarrow in the yard, but I do not know if you can make a tea out of that. Our asparagus died off, I should replace that, it is a medicine for me, it only came up for six or seven years and the deer started to eat the plants so they never dropped seeds. I did get a bunch of seeds from our egg suppliers, I should start those to start more plants. I am going to plant them along the back of the house, if there is a basement close they come up for a lot of years and spread like hell against the foundation..



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

I'm growing a massive amount of garlic chives this year.
Can't wait!

I can never have enough chives or cilantro. Those are the two herbs I use the most.
Last year my dill got attacked by some horrible worms/caterpillars some nasty creature. It was
completely unusable.
edit on 20-2-2021 by JAGStorm because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:47 PM
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a reply to: zosimov
Pineapple Sage!!



You can drink pineapple sage tea to calm your nerves, and like many of its mint cousins it aids in digestion and is good for settling an upset stomach. Some say it helps with memory loss and studies on mice have indicated that it has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties.


Easy to grow, beautiful red flower display in late summer that hummingbirds & butterflies
love! Dies off in winter but comes back every year. Smells just like pineapple.



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 01:53 PM
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I found out that all Camellias are good for tea or to eat. I made tea from mine it was the best green tea I have ever had.



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 02:21 PM
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a reply to: new_here

Oooh, yes, sounds like a great addition to any garden. Thanks for the info!!



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 02:22 PM
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a reply to: SeaWorthy

Suonds like a really delicious tea. Thanks for adding to the brew!




posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: zosimov




Enjoy those little strawberries. If they're anything like the ones I tried in Switzerland (tiny strawberries on the side train tracks-a local pointed them out to us) they'll be among the sweetest things you've ever tasted.


Normally I buy bare root strawberries. Last year the crop was terrible. I also went to a farmers and bought some of theirs and it was terrible and tasteless. Probably was somewhat weather related. That is why I purchased those alpine strawberries seeds. I know they are amazingly flavorful. I have them under a lamp and with a heat mat. They have germinated well and we'll see if they produce the first year. This is my first time starting strawberries from seed, but it seems pretty easy. I have an edge of a somewhat foresty area. I plan on sprinkling a lot of seeds there too as that is more of a natural area for woodland strawberries.



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 03:08 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

I suggestvits worth trying a A Bay tree.

We use bay a lot in stocks and brines where it gives depth to flavours. Plus the tree itself grows well, is a grren all year, and looks very stylish.

Bay leaves are those used to make to garlands worn by Emperor's of Rome, so it has this 'noble feel' to it. And when you run your hand through a wet Bay tree after rain, the smell is so refreshing!



posted on Feb, 20 2021 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: Doxanoxa

Thank you for adding another great suggestion!




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