On Independence Day, we’ve started our own tea party

July 4, 2009 | By | Comments (6)

Camellia sinensis (a.k.a. tea).

Let me say right up front that our party has nothing to do with today’s political tea-party kerfuffle.
We just want to enjoy a nice cup of tea…that we happen to have grown ourselves. And today, tea’s most historic day, seems ripe for our launching of, yes! Team Tea.
Locavores tend to really, really miss certain foodstuffs that don’t grow within whatever distance they’ve designated as “local” for them. For North Americans, it’s usually tropical crops like chocolate, spices, and their favorite caffeinated substance–either tea or coffee.
After doing a bit of preliminary research, we think we can grow tea here in Menlo Park. Camellia sinensis is happy enough at sea level and likes warm, sunny climates. We may have to work hard at keeping it moist, though. I foresee a mister in our future, or maybe a little greenhouse.
If any of you readers have tea-raising tips–or comments–for us, please let us know...


  1. Margo True

    Terri, so far we’ve located ForestFarm, in Oregon, but they’re out of stock–we’ll keep searching.

    Patricia, you may well be right! When and if we find our bush(es), we’ll post about it.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:16 am
  2. Patricia

    Didn’t I read,somwhere in Sunset, some years ago, that it was almost impossible to get a true tea plant in the U.S.? Perhaps restrictions have changed.
    Question: Is saving “miles” by using much more water a good thing?

    July 7, 2009 at 8:54 pm
  3. Terri

    Where does one go to find a Camellia sinensis bush? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in the nursery trade. Sounds like a fun project!

    July 7, 2009 at 4:20 am
  4. Margo T

    Hi, Allyson. Yep, fingers crossed.

    Pedroza Family, thank you for your comments. Jasmine is a great idea, as are the others (we did grow peppermint, for a peppermint-lemongrass “tea” last summer, and loved it). The challenge, we suspect, is going to be English Breakfast.

    July 5, 2009 at 7:45 pm
  5. Pedroza Family

    We grow arabic jazmin and drink jazmin tea. I drop one tiny curly flower in my glass of water and it last all day!

    Other great teas are Chamomile and mint teas. I’m sure the ones your growing are “the real thing” but mine are “easy cheesy” to grow.

    July 5, 2009 at 8:21 am
  6. Allyson

    I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I’d love to make my own tea.

    July 5, 2009 at 12:50 am

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s