Tuber Tonic

Farmers Market Blend Beginnings January 23 2015

I began making Farmers Market Blend tea many years ago when I actually went to the local Farmers Market to sell my tea. The rules there were that vendors could only sell those things that they grew. So I made a blend out of herbs and flowers that grew in my yard.

I have a great profusion of Lemon Balm and many kinds of mint growing in my yard, and I love roses, especially the fragrant ones, so that became the base of my homegrown tea. I bought a dehydrator, and dried the flowers and herbs as I picked them.

The tea was a combination of Lemon Balm, Mint, Raspberry Leaves, Blackberry Leaves, Nettle Leaves, Pineapple Sage and Stevia Leaf. I would pick those herbs that grew best according to the time of year, and dehydrated them. Then I mixed the herbs together and added whatever flowers I had.

There are lots of colorful, edible flowers beside roses that grow in profusion at different times of year. We have Roses, Calendula, Viola, Pansies, Fuchsias, Nasturtiums, Lavender and Honeysuckle to name a few.

The Herbal Infusion was always different, always delicious and always beautiful. It became quite popular. Then I realized that I was having trouble keeping up with demand, and there seemed to be no way I could make enough tea to keep for winter and early spring. So I made a blend that included not only those herbs and flowers that I could grow, but a number of ingredients that I could buy organically and knew to be especially healthy. That blend, and the healthy aspect of those ingredients will be the subject of another blog.

It's fun to think about how some of the Mendocino Tea Company's blends came into being.

Organic (Tea and Food) December 03 2014

I'm a stickler for true organic products. I refuse to use those that list "natural ingredients" and call their products "organic". In fact, I suppose I am just a teeny bit fanatical. Now you have to hear how it was in my day. We didn't have to choose between commercial and organic. It was all just food, but we did prefer growing our own, and saving our seeds so that our crops improved every year and the plants could grow stronger as they adapted to our environment.

I believe that every living thing thrives best in a natural environment, even if it is introduced from elsewhere and forced to adapt to new conditions, the plant will either adapt or die. As a gardener, I only grow those plants that will thrive without being babied. I was working with permaculture before I knew there was a word for it. My yard is a naturalist's dream, but, I digress, more on gardening later.

What has happened to this world? I buy a lot of my food at our local farmer's markets, and know most of the vendors. Few farmers can afford to have certified organic farms, but I know the people and trust them. Certification isn't the thing, trust is. What happened to trust? Truly, because marketing has become so unscrupulous and so rampant in our society, it's hard to trust anyone any more. Ok, that's the end of my rant for the day. More soon.