Backyard Tea Time
It’s finally summer, and with warm, sunny days comes lots of backyard memories in the making.
My kiddos create a bucket list every summer of activities or adventures they want to do, with a few added in from mom and dad. One bucket list item was added early in the year, a backyard tea time.
My kiddos love tea time. Be it hot tea, iced tea, lemonade, or even water, memories are made around tea time. We’ve had fancy tea time with Mammaw (my grandma), inviting some of the “grandmas” of the church over to her home and providing “fancy” sandwiches, cookies, and an array of tea. We regularly have “middle of the day” tea when the kiddos take turns pouring tea for each other and sharing some form of a snack. They also enjoying hosting tea time with their grandparents, whenever they get the chance. Basically, if you show up at our home and mention tea, you are probably going to have a tea party.
This summer, we are on a venture to not only host a tea time but also make our own tea (and treats of course).
A couple years back, I added mint to my lower garden, mostly to help keep the critters out (Did you know mint helps deter a lot of pests?), and it has run wild so the kiddos and I decided we are going to harvest the mint to dry and make our own tea!
Many herbs can be used to make tea, and regardless if you grow a large garden or live in an apartment, growing herbs can take up as little or as much space as you would like. To my herb garden this year, I added lavender and am looking to add stevia yet. Once all the herbs have grown to a point we can harvest, we will be drying mint, lavender, and a few others to create our own custom dry teas.
As a kiddo myself, my paternal grandma always gathered wild mint to dry for tea, and it made the absolute best tea, and I’m excited to share this memory with my kiddos.
So how do you go about harvesting herbs and drying them for tea?
First, decide which herbs you want to grow for your tea. Mint (any flavor) is one of the more traditional herbs, but many others can be used as I said above. A quick Google search will help you decide or give you guidance if you need. If you live in a small space, a counter herb garden will be perfect, or if you have a balcony, make a small herb wall or planter. Have a full-scale garden? Dedicate an area for just your herbs. (Warning! Mint does like to grow rampant so if you are growing mint, make sure you place it in an area where it can grow freely.) Follow the instructions for growing your herb(s) and make sure to read up on when they reach maturity or are able to be harvested.
(Bonus: add a stevia plant to harvest and add into your tea for a natural sweetener.)
Second, once your herb is ready to be gathered, harvest and dry according to the specific plant. For mint, it takes around two to four weeks. For more specifics on drying your herbs, check out this website: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/hgen/how-to-dry-herbs-various-methods.htm.
Third, get ready for a tea party! Want to have a simple kiddo and you tea party? Go for it! Play some classical music, make some fancy sandwiches and treats, and most importantly, make some memories. Or make it a party! Send out special tea time invites, make fancy sandwiches and treats, set out special cups and sauces, display your very harvested tea, and go all out. The options are endless, but the memories are priceless.
Tea time can be educational (and fun) too! Research the different types of tea times or teas (like herbal or green). Do a science tea experiment with blue butterfly tea and lemonade. (It’s uber fun and tasty.) Bake with tea. Read special poems during tea time. Make it part of your daily homeschool routine. Listen to classical music and discuss the composer and musical piece.
Tea time can be simple, fancy, educational, or just plain fun, but memories are always to be made.
Abi (a little bit crazy) Frazee, is a sort of newish, homeschooling momma with three little crazy Frazees. Abi, her husband, Justin & kiddos reside in the mountains of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and enjoy spontaneous field trips. Abi has a BA in Early Childhood Education, a MS in Special Education, and is a Certified Labor Doula; she uses her education, with past and present experiences to cultivate a love of learning & sharing. Love, Learn, Have Faith, Smile (& drink coffee!)