Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Edible plants for the yard: Tea?

In the new vinyard I put in an extra line of trellis with the plan to put in some marionberries.  You can order marionberries from all over, but I'd rather have some that were sourced from around here to get a better chance that the particular plant is suited for this climate.

One of the local growers that had them also mentioned that they'd planted 5 acres of  Camellia sinensis...  which you probably know under another name.


"Csinensis" by AxelBoldt at en.wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
It has an attractive green foliage, it's an evergreen, and commercial plantations of it look like a trimmed hedge.  All of it works for me as a sort of stealth edible.  People think it's a hedge, but it's actually a tea tree.  Dried leaves can be made into either green or black tea.  Not a tea substitute -- this is the real deal.

I think I'll get a few and plant them.


magpi said...

We're replacing all our ornamental-invasive landscaping near the house with edibles or native bee-friendlies. I may consider tea for screening the view of the (planned) equipment shed.

Enjoying watching the progress of the vineyard, as we have a few pots of muscadines to go in...after the fence is finished for the new pig paddock and they vacate the vineyard slope.

Anonymous said...

Won't you need a shed for making black tea? I think there is a bit more work to it than just drying the leaves :)

Bruce King said...

Magpi: the only problem i have with grapes is the 3 year wait for the first crop, but I figured i'd get that clock ticking now!

Goddess: making black tea is a drying/shredding/oxidation thing; most of the pictures i've seen have shown layers of leaves in the sun or on trays in what looks like a dehydrator.

the specifics of tea manufactur apparently aren't shared -- no one wants someone else to be able to make tea that tastes teh same, so...

Cathy said...

I like Ben Sarek blackcurrant as a landscape plant. It isn't evergreen but the leaves make a nice green tea. I bought Ben Conan last Fall and planted them in the beds around my house. They are suppose to be similar in size and appearance to Ben Sarek one of it's parent plants but with a better quality berry. I use blackcurrants in mixed fruit pies, drink syrup concentrates, jams, ice cream and dried in baked goods and oatmeal.

Red currants are very attractive when the have fruit and of course elderberries are impressive.

I like to use rhubarb in foundation plantings. I have Canadian Red and it is very attractive as a border. I disappears in the winter.