The Sugar Tree and The Sugar Tree Cottage

"Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?"
       Lewis Carroll,, Alice in Wonderland

 Tea Tips from the Sugar Tree

Gardening

  • You can grow your own garden with used teabags, seeds, a plastic tray, water and a paper towel. You'll germinate your seeds with the tea bags and then plant them in the garden.


  • Tea leaves contain tannic acid and nutrients that are natural fertilizers for a garden. As the tea leaves decompose, they release nutrients into the soil, creating a healthier growing environment.  It enriches the soil by increasing nitrogen levels, and also give earthworms (fertilizers) something yummy to eat. Once they digest the leaves they produce a more "nutrient-rich output," making your soil healthier for growing plants.


  • Teabags help with water retention: Bury your tea bags near the root of your plants, flowers, and veggies to help the plants retain more water and stay healthier


  • Tea bags keep pests at bay: Used tea will help keep bugs away from your plants. The odor deters the pests from chewing on your flowers and veggies.  [this includes housecats urinating on your favorite plants, and you can do use this with indoor plants as well]


  • Teabags help keep weeds at bay: When you bury your teabags in the garden, they can help impeded the growth of weeds 


  • Add used tea leaves to a compost pile.  This reduces garbage in general and adds nutrients to a compost pile.Tea increases the decomposition of other items… the acid in the tea can speed up the decomposition process of other items in the compost bin, which means you can use the compost faster.  If you don’t have a compost pile,  just steep tea in water until the water slightly changes color, and then use the liquid to water your plants. 

Did you know? White, Green, Oolong, and Black teas are really the same plant simply dried or fermented differently!


White : A young leaf that is hand-plucked in the morning by the most experienced tea farmers. - low caffeine level.


Green : A mature leaf that has not been oxidized. -  low to medium caffeine level. 


Oolong : This partially oxidized tea is rolled into tight balls or thin strands - medium caffeine level. 


Black : A fully oxidized leaf with a bold flavor ranging from medium to strong - medium caffeine level.


Mate’ : South American herbal tea. -  medium to high caffeine level


Rooibos : Also known as red bush, this herbal tea comes from the needle like leaves of a shrub grown in South Africa. - caffeine free. 


Tulsi : an Indian herb offering many calming benefits for your body and mind. - caffeine free

Recipes

Pumpkin Chai Soup


1¼ lb sugar pumpkin, halved, seeded and cubed
2 onions, quartered
2 large apples, peeled, halved and cored
1 clove garlic
4 tsp olive oil
4 cups water
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp loose leaf chai tea
Salt and pepper to taste

Place pumpkin, onions, apple and garlic in roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Crush 1 tsp chai tea and sprinkle on top. Roast in 425°F oven, until pumpkin is browned and tender, about 40 minutes. Add water to the stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat off. Steep 2 Tbsp chai tea, in water (in stock pot) for 2-3 minutes. Add roasted mixture to the stock pot. Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for a half-hour. Puree soup using a hand held blender.

Can be served hot or cold, with a dollop of sour cream if desired. A wonderful accompaniment is butter scones!

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