When the first week of the month rolls around all things stop so that we can ship out tea mail! What is tea mail you ask?
Some of you are probably aware, and maybe even part of our monthly tea club subscription. Every month I blend a brand new tea especially for our V.I.P. Tea Club members. This tea gets sent out in the mail along with some other goodies:
* Small Treat from Local/Small Businesses
* Sample of one of our farm store teas
* Newsletter about current month's tea and treat
This month we blended up an herbal peach tea we call Cottage Peach. Featuring locally grown Oregon peaches that we processed and dehydrated here on the farm along with some Oregon Bee Pollen from our favorite local bee keeper. We paired it with some local granola from the Sweet Peony Flour Shop and sent it off to our tea club members. This week we decided to share the behind the scenes from blending to shipping with you. The farm isn't always growing fruits, flowers and veggies, sometimes the work is in the office too. Or in this case our new tea studio! We will catch you over on Youtube! Thanks for stopping by the farm.
Oh! If you want more details on our Tea Club you may grab that here. A little insider tip... June's tea is going to feature locally grown blueberries and our treat is something super sweet and yummy! Cheers!
How many of you are growing a garden this year? How many of you have flowers in your garden? How about medicinal flowers?
We started our garden out with just things that could be eaten. It was a way to help cut down the food cost and to know the story of where our food was coming from. Which growing methods were used, where the seeds came from, the type of soil that they were growing in.
Equally important as our vegetable garden though are our medicinals that we grow as well. It's handy to also know where our medicine comes from as well.
Today we thought we would share a bit about a favorite medicinal flower that we are growing here on the farm. Bachelor Buttons also known as cornflowers are used in many of our teas but that isn't there limitation. Join us as we go over their culinary and medicinal uses!
Some times loose leaf tea is not that convenient. Its loose after all, making it hard to take it with you any where. It requires a container to put it in in order to steep it. Its not something you walk out to the swing set with and start sipping unless its already brewed.
Its not something that is easy to have around toddlers, or a drink known for taking on the go. Loose Leaf tea is known as the slow down drink, the sit and relax by the fireside drink.
In an effort to make loose leaf tea easier and fit better into our farm schedule I set out on a search to find an on the go option that would work. For about a year I tried the Bodum travel tea/coffee press. I wasn't very happy with the results and so I purchased an Espro Travel Tea press and I'm super excited about it! Finally a way to have my loose leaf as I dart out the door to the farmer's market, early in the morning or to take around the farm with me when I don't have time to slow down.
Check out our review in the video below and share with us how you drink your loose leaf tea on the go! The second half of our video is a little farm update if you would like to see what we have been up to!
Want to check out these Tea Presses online? The Links are here below, and yes, we receive a little bit of a commission (no extra charge to you) if you decide to purchase. We never share products we wouldn't use ourselves! And every little bit helps us provide our family the farm life style we live. We thank you for your patronage!
Espro P3 Tea Press: http://amzn.to/2fmwRO5
Stainless Steel Espro (18 oz): http://amzn.to/2wtaMmv
Stainless Steel Espro (32 oz): http://amzn.to/2wdiq9E
TRAVEL MUG!!!! Espro http://amzn.to/2f8NH62
Espro Milk Steaming Pitcher :http://amzn.to/2wdByEm
Bodum Plastic Travel Mug http://amzn.to/2xAAWFr
Bodum Stainless Steel Travel Mug http://amzn.to/2zSA2oD
We Give the French Press from Bodum a much higher rating than the travel mugs! They have stainless steel presses that work better than the silicon ones in their travel press.
Bodum Stainless Steel French Press http://amzn.to/2h0ZRyR
BRRRR! How is the weather where you are?
Here..... well, its almost freezing! We seemed to have about a week of fall and then the winter switch got flipped. 30 miles from us it was snowing! Fall on the farm means getting ready for winter. We seem to be having troubles keeping up with that here.
This week though we brought in some herbs from our greenhouse and garden so that we could have some during the winter to use fresh in cooking and in making tea. Lemon balm, anise hyssop, rosemary and chamomile.
While at a second hand store I found these adorable tea cups with herbs all along them and thought what better use than to put herbs in them too.
Below is a short tutorial and video on how to make your very own! Just plant - even if its in a tea cup and in your kitchen. Its a space everyone can have a little living green in their home and there is nothing like fresh herbs in cooking or in your tea pot! Cheers!
Tea Cup Kitchen Garden
What you need:
1 tea cup, coffee mug, or small pot of choice
1 small plant per cup, mug or pot
1/4 cup or so of a well drained potting mix (something with peet moss and vermiculite is great!)
Handful of small gravel, small river rock or other similar material
1.) Fill container (cup, mug or pot) about 1/8 to 1/4 full of your rock of choice. The smaller the better. The rock is going to drain the water so that the roots don't sit in water and rot. Sand works also and some research also says that adding some activated charchol will really help with the drainage.
2.) Place plant on top of the rock inside your container of choice, making sure any roots are pointed downward.
3.) Add soil mix around the plant so that the plant stands up.
4.) Water a little tiny bit not more than 1 tsp for a small cup. Decorate the top with remaining rocks if you wish.
trouble shooting drainage issues
- Remove plant and planting material. Drill a small hole with a dremel and diamond bit. Repot as before. Make sure to put a plate or other water catch under your cup.
- Change up the soil adding more sand and peet moss to help with draining.
- Make sure your plant is the right size for your container. You may need a larger container or smaller pot.
After a few weeks of illness we are starting to get back to our normal schedule here down on the farm! Its the time of year where we are busy putting up the harvest from our own vegetable garden but as well as other local goodness that we use in our teas.
In today's video we are sharing how we turned 3 boxes of concord grapes from our neighbor into some juice for the freezer. We hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by the farm!
The weather here in Oregon did a flip flop... a couple of times I think. One day its hot outside in the mid 80's and the next it is raining and cloudy. September and October are harvest season here down on the farm. All those months of planning, planting have come down to this.... harvesting.
We have enjoyed the grapes hanging off our vine on our front porch for some time now and while it is sad to cut them down and no longer have them there we get to enjoy their sweetness. Some fresh, some dehydrated and maybe even some in tea for our monthly tea subscribers.
We also planted some experimental quinoa this year. There is a farm locally that specializes in it so we thought we would give it a try. Quinoa is an ancient grain and is a very healthy protein packed food. It looks much like bird seed after harvested! We figure if we didn't eat it ourselves we would either save it for seed and/or use it to supplement the chicken feed.
Check out our harvest here on Youtube and thanks for visiting us down on the farm!
Some people get up early and they go to the gym, or go for a walk or have some form of exercise they do to start off with their day. Its a great habit and start to great health.
On the farm, the garden is our gym. Its great because not only is it "free" but it "pays" us in food! And boy do we need the food after working in the garden, talk about a great way to stir up an appetite!
This time of year harvest season is hitting hard. We have LOADS of food coming in the house. The counter is piled with food of all sorts and we spend a couple days a week just processing and putting up food for the winter.
This week we are taking you with us as we dehydrate what we bring out of the garden. The freezer is full, the fermentation area is full so all that is left is to dry or can. I'm just not a fan of canning and in the video below you will find out why.
Do you have a summer garden? What food do you preserve to get you through the winter? Is there something that you wish you could/would grow and preserve? Share with us here!!!
The tomatoes are coming wildly from the garden, as soon as one batch is put up there is another batch! WE love our tomatoes though and we are thinking we probably grew enough to make enough pasta sauce all year without having to buy any.
After all I planted 80 tomato plants! Yes. I'm crazy.
Truth be told though, I hate canning. Its hot, its time consuming, its hot. Did I say that already?
Dehydrating tomatoes is so simple and while our huge dehydrator heats up the house some smaller dehydrators out on a porch in the shade do an excellent job! Check out video #2 this week on how you can dehydrate your tomatoes at home.
We thought maybe some snow would cool everyone off during these dog daze of summer. This week we are sharing our family story and the story of why we started farming. It involves countries in far away lands, adventures and our family home at last.
From growing our own food, growing our own medicine to herbal teas that we share with our patrons, we invite you to join us on our journey as we become sustainable homesteaders and grow our tea farm. Watch us Grow!
It was a Friday.
Our family all works, lives and school at home- all year around. There is lots to do this time of year between a continuous planting of crops, harvesting of crops, watering, feeding animals. There is no end to the work on the farm in the summer.
Meanwhile most are out of school and taking vacations all over the place. The farmers on the other hand await their downtime in the winter.... like January and February. Not the best time to visit the Oregon coast.
But every once in a great while.... the farmer makes it off of the farm and joins in the fun in the sun. We invite you this week to come with us as we deliver tea to a new location and take in some of the sites. Thanks for visiting us down on the farm!
Did you know that we grow in a 4o ft long green house year around? We grow mostly food for our selves but this year we started adding some herbal crops for our tea. Our green house saves us tons of money on greens throughout the year especially in the off season when greens get more expensive. Its so much cheaper to plant a $3 bag of organic seed than to spend $3 on one head of lettuce.
But that can be hard in some cold places.
It can be near impossible!
With the help of a greenhouse, polytunnel or hoop house you can grow in colder climates, even in Maine, and have greens year around! This is a great affordable way to extend your gardening season and your household food budget.
The Farmer took a few days to help his brother put up their new hoop house. Its very similar to ours wit ha few adjustments. Check it out in this weeks video!
Gardens are a lot of work! First the area is prepared, for us that meant rotating the chickens through the area and then tilling it and then tapping it. Next the seeds need to be planted, watered, babied. Then the seedlings get transplanted out into the garden. Phew..... I'm so hungry after all of that work I'm going to be anxiously awaiting the food that comes from it. But wait we aren't done yet... we have to keep watering those baby plants. Make sure that weeds don't take them over.
The good news is that with a little effort up front the watering and weeding can be dealt with fairly simply. Mulching to the rescue! This week we take you on our mulching adventure showing you 5 reasons that its a good idea to mulch your garden, no matter what size, with a little added farm humor. Thanks for joining us down on the farm and we hope you have a wonderful week! We would love to know what you are growing and about your experience with mulching, let us know in the comment section below! Cheers!
Were all about local farms, growing our own food and helping to supply others. But what do we do when our lavender comes from France? We only have a few small lavender plants.... for now, but certainly not enough to keep our tea patrons content. We were blessed to find this lovely Oregon farm in Newburg that has plenty to supply us with. We thought we would take you along to see it and not both you and I know where the lavender comes from!
We started this gardening journey with putting our chickens in the garden to till it up, yet before even that we took you along with us as we built our chicken tractor, chickshaw, chicken thing. Then we had you with us as we built our soil block trays, showed you our soil blocking method and planted our seed. Its time to move those babies out to the garden and watch them grow! Join us this week as we move our basil out with the tomatoes. Soon we will be adding herbs for tea and for culinary use including chamomile, tarragon, lemon balm and more! Join us every step of the way as we share the happenings of the farm with you once a week on Youtube!
Thanks for being part of our farm family! Cheers!
Hello fellow tea drinkers and gardeners!
We had this big plan this winter. I'm afraid it was delayed. You see we love knowing where our food comes from. We like to know what kind of conditions it was grown in, who was growing it, what our money supports or rather who it is supporting. Is it going to big corporations or a small farmer and his family? Did our fruit come from Mexico, our beef from Australia?
Sometimes it is just hard to know. We do our best, within our means and with what resources we have. But sometimes its either not in the budget to buy local like we would like or some things just are not available! We decided to take our food into our own hands and grow as much as we can on our own farm and then to buy from other farms in the area and leave the large retailers as a last resort.
What does this have to do with tea? You see we want our family business to be inline with the rest of our lives. That means that the Farmer came home to work on the farm so that we can all live, work and school together. It also means that we aim to have the same values with blending tea as we try to have with the food we feed our family with.
First we grow it. If we can't grow it because of time, space, money ect then we seek out other local farms who can. Today we want to take you on that journey with us which brings us back to our big "winter plans". You see we want to SHOW you were your tea comes from! We want to tell you the story of each and every one of our teas.
Haskaps usually fruit in May but this year Oregon has had a very long wet spring and so our winter plans were delayed...
We invite you on our farm visit picking haskaps and the first in our series on showing you the story of the tea you drink and enjoy. So sit back, relax with a good cuppa and see the story of your tea. Thanks for dropping by the farm and we will see you next week!
Our farm is about to move up, we spent the week preparing for the arrival of these things above! Trusses for our tea studio have arrived! Our daily rotation of the sheep and goat continue as they clean up the brush in future gardening areas. We also found some other treasures in our brush. Check out this weeks video for all of the above!
Seed Panting season.... check. Packet of seeds.... check. Water.... check... soil to plant them in check....
How come it is that I plant ALL these seeds and only half of them come up. Now I have to replant. How come it is that I have to thin all these seeds that do come up and just toss them to the animals? What a waste.
Enter soil boxes and soil blocking. No more wasted seed, no more wondering if they are going to come up or not. Join us on our YouTube channel this week to learn how to mix soil blocking mix to use in your soil blocking trays we made last week. Elliot Coleman style. Who is he you ask? He is THE Organic gardener who has this growing thing down pat. He grows year around in Maine and has been for years, he makes a great living growing things in the snow. And his secret? Getting those seeds a good start. Lets get planting!
Bachelor Buttons. Chamomile. Green Beans. Squash. Basil. Lots of Basil.
There is so much going on in our green house that I ran out of seed trays to start our garden seeds. Our garden space has been tilled and weeded by the chickens and is waiting the machine till to straighten it out before we start planting, amending and mulching. Gardening season is truly here and even more so this year down on our farm! We have started expanding the herbs that we grow so that we can bring you even fresher tea and more local tea than we have been the last three years.
You too can grow your own food and tea! We would love to help! This weeks video is on how to make your own seed planting trays. These guys save you on money for so many reason!
#1 They are reusable
#2 They old up better than the black plastic ones
#3 You use less seed because you don't have to thin out plants when you use this method.
Check out the video and we will have an additional one on how to do the soil blocking early next week. Have a fantastic weekend and keep on growing!
Do you know that person who lives in a tiny duplex in town and grows their own food in their tiny back yard? No? Don't have one of those huh? Well we use to be that family until we were blessed with almost 2 acres of our own. Now not only do we hand blend tea on our farm using the best that Oregon has to offer but we make an effort to grow as much of our own food as possible.
From eggs, to lamb to produce and beyond. This week we are taking you around our farm to show you what has been 'springing' up! Thanks for stopping by and checking out our virtual tour. Maybe some day you will be growing your own food too! We would love to have you join our journey!
Do you already garden or raise animals for food? Share with us in the comments, we would love to chat about it!
It's spring time down on the farm and that means the spring garden is in full swing. Learn how to trellis peas (or green beans) in a poly tunnel in this weeks video. What is tea time without a good spring salad that includes peas?!
Howdy howdy from down on the farm! The sun is starting to make appearances here and there which is making us think of our favorite sun tea! We love sweet tea, our sweet down on the farm is some local raw honey and our favorite tea to brew in the sun is High Desert Hibiscus. Here is our video of the week with a quick demo on how we brew tea in the sun.
10 lbs of dark chocolate and the best dried Royal Ann cherries in the area! That is what takes us on this weeks Youtube adventure as we pick up product for our farm store. Check out how the cherries we use in our Cherry City Chai tea are dried and then the other special treat that this lovely farm makes with them! If you happen to be in the Eola Hills area in Oregon just outside of Salem make sure you stop by Cherry Country to take their cherry and chocolate factory tour! We are very thankful to Celeste and Marsh for giving such a great tour and letting us film!
Our chickens to new grass that is! Check out the work they have been doing to get our garden spot ready, what it takes to move them around and our new baby lambs.
Were SO excited to be back at the Salem Saturday Market and we thought we would give you a sneak peek of what it takes to get there, set up and home again! Along with some of the other fantastic vendors at the market, check out this weeks video and take a ride with us to the market!
Our yard is over taken with black berry leaves, here in Oregon they are invasive and usually a pain for many a land owner. They grow wild on the side of the road, they over take everything if not kept at bay. We have taken that problem and turned it into a solution by using them in one of our most popular teas. Check out this weeks YouTube video on how we use many of the wild edibles and weeds in our yard!
Welcome to our Family Tea Farm!
Howdy from our farm to your home! It is said that the, "farm is the nursery of the family," and that "the family is the nursery of the nation." We hope you enjoy your visit to our blog as we share with you the happenings on our little "nursery". Thank you for following us on our journey and watching us GROW! Read more about our farm HERE.
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