tea gardens

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tea gardens

Postby Mocha Wheels » Feb 15th, '08, 20:19

this summer i want to plant a tea/edible flower garden and was just wondering if anyone grows their own. what do you plant? how do i dry the herbs/flowers to be made into tea?

Last edited by Mocha Wheels on Feb 15th, '08, 20:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ladytiger » Feb 15th, '08, 20:40

I recommend you reading Your Backyard Herb Garden. It lists some basic herbs that can be used for tea, culinary purposes, ect. It also tells you how to grow them.

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Postby Eastree » Feb 15th, '08, 21:07

Thanks for the recommendation, LT. Actually, I'm considering growing some herbs and such for cooking and possible brewing. On my list, since it's a small patio and I'll be restricted to containers, are Chamomile, a couple mint varieties (whatever first I pick, and possibly catnip), Cilantro, and possibly Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary (which both make a lovely brew, believe it or not)

Last edited by Eastree on Feb 15th, '08, 21:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Feb 15th, '08, 21:13

Ya know, rosemary actually doesn't sound bad as an infusion. I should try that sometime.

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Postby tseirPsaduJ » Feb 16th, '08, 08:27

My garden was singed last year, it was very very dry and hot. But I will be growing marigolds, roses, lavender, lemon balm, thyme, chamomile of course, raspberries (for the leaves), strawberries/leaves(amazingly they survived the drought even though they love water),peppermint,ginseng,hibiscus and various other spices, flowers, fruits etc. I tried a really delicious apple-blossom tea once, but I don't know that I could bring myself to pick the bitty flowers when there is the possibility of apples.

I am sure there are other things I am not thinking of at the moment, that I am growing for tea, or growing otherwise that can be used for tea.

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Postby osadczuk » Feb 17th, '08, 02:38

I'm a flower gardener, not am herb gardener - but I do know that you can easily store basil by drying it in a microwave - so I imagine herbs for tissanes would work equally well.

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Postby tseirPsaduJ » Feb 17th, '08, 12:51

You can dry them by spreading them out in/on a dish and just letting them air dry for a few days, or by tying them into a bunch and hanging them upside down (lavender etc.). Or in the oven on warm or 200 for a few hours. I would not recommend microwaving them. Even on low it seems it would cook most of the nurtients out and also it effects the taste in a bad way. Everything microwaved always tastes off. I generally spread everything on a plate, keep it out of direct sunlight and give it a few days to air dry. Easy enough isn't it? After you have put them in containers or jars, you should open them every day for a week for 10-15 minutes to air out and dry the remaining moisture(stir or shake them so it airs in between leaves etc.). Afterwards of course, keep them sealed very well to keep the taste fresh and wonderful.

I am anxious to do roses and lavender. Roses are nice because the leaves, petals and later, the hips can all be used for tea. Not to mention their beauty and scent wafting through the yard. But I can bet mine won't last long, very cold winters, very hot summers, I am a klutz and I am forgetful. Can't you see the poor things now? Between the weather, my stepping on them, or forgetting to feed/water them...

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Postby Mary R » Feb 17th, '08, 12:59

On his Good Eats show entitled "Herbal Preservation," Alton brown recommended layering herbs in between furnace filters, then strapping the whole stack to a large fan. After a day, they're perfectly dried--as well as being dust and bug free. And because no heat was used to dry them, all their happy fun little biomolecules are intact and poised for prime seasoning onslaught.

The transcript of the show can be found here.
The YouTube rip can be found here in part 1 and part 2. His drying contraption is in part 2.

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