If you are one of the up-and-coming “locavores,” who try to eat only what is available locally, you may be keen to know that it is possible to grow, harvest and make your own tea. While I’ve spouted off before about how Tea Does Not Grow in London, we do have the ability to grow it in a variety of regions with a little extra TLC.
Kat just discovered a book by Cassie Liversidge, “Homegrown Tea: An Illustrated Guide to Planting, Harvesting, and Blending Teas and Tisanes,” which provides step-by step instructions to cultivating your own tea!
By growing your tea plant (Camellia sinensis) in a pot, you will have the ability to move it around to get the best sunlight and also to bring it indoors to protect it from freezing temperatures in the winter. To harvest, you’ll be plucking the top two leaves and bud from the new growth each spring, which means you may want to grow a few tea plants to create a good sized batch. We’ve been surveying Kat’s patio, discussing where the best locations would be for a few potted tea plants. She and I are getting very excited to begin this project!
Think of the possibilities! You could try creating your own Earl Grey with bergamot, or you could blend the tea leaves with dried fruit or flowers. Imagine bringing your own custom tea blend to next year’s holiday party as a hostess gift!
The idea is intriguing, I know. And there’s even a growing movement in the United States to encourage farmers to grow tea. In fact, the U.S. League of Tea Growers met just last week in Long Beach, California at the World Tea Expo!
Who’s ready to start growing your own tea?