Guest blog: Tea from Weeds

6:17 PM

Guest blogger: Betty Doerksen
So I discovered some weeds growing in my garden. It was purely by accident. And it turned out to be one of the most delicious mistakes I've made.

One of my favourite things to do in the afternoon is sit in my garden and pull out weeds by hand. None of this standing and using some kind of ergonomically-handled contraption for me. No, I actually enjoy the sun on my back while I sit and pull them out by hand. I can't explain it, but there's just something about it. It's soothing; therapeutic almost.

In any case, there I was, pulling out the same old crabgrass from between my vegetables, when I realized that something else was taking over my plot. My neighbour had commented on it a few days earlier, telling me what she thought it might be. My husband had other ideas, and looked it up in an old Horticulture book. Since they had different opinions, and I'm a "need-to-know" kinda girl, I thought I'd look the stuff up and decide for myself. 

Turns out I was looking at something called "Pineapple Weed". It is a relative of the Chamomile plant. Which as you may or may not know, can be used for tea.
Lovely, delicious tea. 
Um, what ??  
There it was, taking over my garden. For free. I was more than a little excited. 

Since I grow peppermint plants as well, I thought I would experiment a little. And you know, it turned out to be the best dang tea I have ever tasted. You can't get any fresher than straight from the garden. It literally went from a growing plant to "in my mouth" in under 15 minutes. That's fresh, folks.

1. Find amazingly delicious weeds growing in your garden. Or your neighbour’s garden. I don't know how close you are with your neighbours, but if you have that kind of relationship, or a really good flashlight, this can happen. Feel free to Google variations, but make sure your weed is the legit kind. Otherwise that's another blog.

2. Carefully pluck heads from the plants - if you're using Pineapple Weed, it's literally the part that looks like a tiny pineapple. Don't hesitate to deeply take in the smell of these things. Pretty intoxicating, this stuff. Pick a good couple handfuls and grab a mint leaf or three.

3. Pull out your Coffee Press. If you don't have one, I might suggest a tea ball/spice ball. Add the heads to the press, pour in a few cups of boiling water and your mint leaves. Close your lid but don't press it down. Steep for a good long while. The longer the better, because this stuff does not get any worse while it sits.

4. Go do something distracting, like catch up on a few pages of a book. Or maybe pick up a broom, but I wouldn't recommend that over the book.

5. Suddenly remember that you have tea steeping. And get excited. *This may not actually happen, because I'm pretty sure that the smell of camomile is going to fill your senses before you can forget.*

6. Press down and pour. This is the part where you realize that your tea has not seen the inside of a box. That it has not been sitting in a bag for six months drying out and losing flavor as it waits. So if you weren't excited yet, this is the part where you get there.

If it's not the best dang tea you've ever tasted, there's always time to discover another weed.

But I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.

Betty Doerksen is a gardening mentor to many. She is the founder of the St. Catharines plant swap and many an impromptu singing group. She lives with her two vegetable-loving sons and landscaping-savvy husband in a home surrounded by - you guessed it - beautiful plants. If you don't believe me, check her talented photography. Oh and she's my aunt.

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  1. Betty/Amy/whoever... I love this! Although I'm not exactly sure how to manage the "read a few pages of a book while the tea is steeping part." Would you mind telling my kids that that's how it's supposed to work? :)

  2. I have learned about the above article and this is first time I have learned tea from weeds. Its a good news. I would like to know its classification. Thank you author. how to make kratom tea


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