Growing Your Own


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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby jayinhk » Dec 17th, '13, 03:36

Very little remains unchanged here...up the road from me, there was some cool wall art from the 1960s, advertising French underwear for men. The original wall would have been from the turn of the 20th century. What did the government do? Sprayed over it in flat gray paint. :roll:
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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby MEversbergII » Dec 17th, '13, 10:51

I had heard HK doesn't preserve much, which is a shame.

I'd no idea it was so large, though! I've a terrible sense of scale, though. I used HK as a backdrop for designing RPG settings, but not having been personally, yet. I intend to go to the 2015 tea expo, however...maybe we'll cross paths, do some HTH (silat, you say...)

M.
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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby jayinhk » Dec 17th, '13, 11:57

HK does and doesn't--the insatiable demand for land means HK is constantly changing. HK is the same size as all five boroughs of NYC, but I think most people are crammed into the urban districts or sprawling government housing blocks. Interestingly the public housing here looks a lot like American public housing in design.

Yup, silat, among other things. Been too long since I've sparred! :)
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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby MEversbergII » Dec 17th, '13, 22:46

Hah, me too. I got into HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) and ran a club for a while, but got a bit burned and haven't done much lately. Need to fix it.

When I think HK, I think pretty much perpetual buildings. This is probably because A) I'm mixing the visuals with Singapore and B) Everything that takes place in Hong Kong seems to be in the big urban areas, reinforcing the illusion.

If memory serves it'll be 3,000USD round trip air fare for the SO and I when we do go. Haven't even touched hotels yet...

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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby jayinhk » Dec 18th, '13, 04:49

SG has lots of open space too, including entire islands with barely any motorized transportation (like we have here in HK, but the ones in SG are bigger).

http://www.wildsingapore.com/ubin/places/cycling.htm

Most people don't know about the wilder side of things in SG and HK, even many people who live in the cities!
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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby eyvind » Dec 18th, '13, 14:11

Growing your own is somewhat feasible depending on your local climate. Folks along the US East Coast from Cape Cod south (maritime climate) could potentially grow it outside. The US southeast (GA, SC, NC, AL) would be good. The west coast from San Francisco north also could. New Zealand, SE Australia, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, northern Spain, and parts of the Black Sea coast are a few places with potential to grow tea which currently do not. The preferred climates are humid subtropical (think southern China), highland tropical (high elevation Sri Lanka and Kenya), or maritime (similar to highland tropical, think NZ or Cornwall, UK). You need a long growing season with sufficient rain/humidity in the spring and summer. Other climates may need to grow under glass or with copious irrigation depending on the conditions.

It could be grown from seed- this takes a long time and most commercial producers use cuttings from a cultivar so they are genetically identical (this is standard practice with most tree and bush crops such as grapes, apples, etc). Recently I have noticed some of the garden websites are selling tea bushes. Of course nowhere in the US, sells named cultivars or even collection locations.

The soil should be acidic and freely draining. Generally gardening advice suitable for camellias (same Genus as tea) is good for tea bush. However avoid the camellia advice that promotes flowering.

Post-harvest processing is a whole separate story...

I have had a tea bush for about three years. It is in a half a wine barrel and has not reached a size for any harvest other than nibbling on a few leaves. However the climate is quite dry where I am and I irrigate it heavily during the summer and keep it in half shade. I plan to plant it in the ground early this spring so we will see how it goes.
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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby MEversbergII » Dec 18th, '13, 15:11

I'll have to site mine when I get some time. I have this little front yard piece that currently has a tiny flowering bush of some kind. I've only just recently moved in (September), so I haven't seen what the "inherited potential" of my lawn & garden assets are yet. Evidently the fiance-unit has determined the backyard is a playground for the dog, so that's out.

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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby Senchamatcha » Jan 3rd, '14, 00:44

!!!! How did I miss this topic!!!???????? HOW!!!!!!???????????
I'm growing tea myself. From seeds.
Even if the tea is not very good, or the plants die, I WOULD NOT trade this experience for $1mill. I really wouldn't.
Where doyou live? Someone over on steepster started tea across america a few months ago and now someone in Alaska has a tea plant ( yes! Alaska!) :mrgreen:

If you want to know where to get plants/seeds then I know of two good places ( camforest.com has tea seeds from china, Korea, Japan, and even a pink tea plant! $3.00 x 5 seeds + flat rate $4 shipping 7 total, or $10 for 10 seeds)
I haven't gotten to harvest anything yet but I am trying to take this one step at a time, grow plants, keep them alive, then worry about processing.
I think the first tea I will process will be black as that is harder to mess up! I wonder what shin cha black tea will taste like?

I think you should give it a try, they are finicky but if you take good care of them they are " sweet" little plants. I have tons of growing resources I you need them. If my laptop were not broken I'd post the links from the agricultural place in hawaii.

I highly encourage you to give it a try. Because honestly which are you going to beat yourself up for five years from now? That you bought some seeds and they died? Or that you never even bought the seeds ( or a plant) and tried?
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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby jayinhk » Jan 3rd, '14, 06:32

I live in Hong Kong and can get seeds direct from China (no customs issues for plants from across the border in China). The only issue is space--need to find a place to put the plants! :)
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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 3rd, '14, 10:15

How well do you guys think tea trees would work with bonsai/penjing techniques? I've been thinking about trying my hand at bonsai/penjing and a tea tree would be quite fitting!

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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby Senchamatcha » Jan 3rd, '14, 11:29

Jay- well aren't you lucky! :D the baby plants don't take up that much space (4inch x2 inch pots to start) an you can keep them in pots all thier life if you need to, just trim the tap root once its reasonably long enough and they will be happy in a pot. That way if you move you can take them with you or if you have limited space they won't hog up everything and can be shifted out of the way.
My oldest ones are about 6-7 months old and are only 5 inches at the tallest. They grow really slowly.
Do you have a house with a yard? Or an apartment with a balcony?

Meversberg- yup you can bonsai them for sure, but if you make them too small of a bonsai you won't have enough leaves to pick. Think more of a container garden plant. Or you can keep it as a small bonsai as a decorative plant? The pink tea plant might make a great decorative bonsai.
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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby MEversbergII » Jan 3rd, '14, 12:08

I was thinking decorative. I've also considered doing, as above, a full bush (or tree) at my current place, once the purchase goes through. These are ultimately symbolic, though I might pick for fun if they ever mature enough.

The bonsai is all for show; I'd likely only play with the trimmings for a lark.

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Re: Growing Your Own

Postby Senchamatcha » Jan 3rd, '14, 14:37

Yeah, I would LOVE it if my plants grew up in pots and became healthy adult bushes that I can harvest from, but if not... then hey at least i gave it a try. And I now have alot more respect for the people who do this for a living.
I wonder how long these little things will take before they will be able to live in a 5 gallon pot? I wonder if any of them will survive to adulthood :?

:mrgreen: But I sure as heck and going to give it a try... and enthusiastically tell everyone to give it a try too. :lol: Its so fun and thrilling to watch them hit milestones, sprouting, getting leaves, growing tall, growing bark, and all that lovely stuff. I like my hobby tea growing, it brings me such joy and happiness that I want to share it with others.
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