08 Jan GROWING HERBS FOR HOT WINTER TEA
This season, my herbs truly exploded out of my elevated garden beds (above). When you walked by, you could smell the amazing scent wafting through the air, and it was a healing and therapeutic experience. Growing herbs during the winter season can easily be managed inside next to a sunny window or under a grow light. Happily, you can have the taste and feeling of summer every day of winter by placing herbs in your tea – the scent and taste will transform your house and your heart on a cold, dark, stormy winter’s day.
When the snow and cold season hits, I pull out the teapots and create a little corner of my kitchen counter dedicated to hot tea. My favorite way to create herbal tea is to brew a green or black tea, then add the fresh herbs – stems and all – to the pot as I pour the hot, not boiling, water. Strain when you pour into the tea cup and you will be rewarded with the freshest most amazing flavor. Rosemary (above) is one of the most aromatic ingredients you can add. Other herbs such as lavender, basil, and thyme can be very pleasant to brew and taste.
This fresh herb tea is particularly effective as an anti-inflammatory, so if you have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or another chronic pain condition which requires a more anti-inflammatory diet, drinking a healthful tea with extra herbs added can be beneficial. Ginger is another fantastic ingredient for tea and has been known to decrease inflammation. Ginger has many benefits; it reduces tummy upset, helps boost immunity, and reduces inflammation. Mix ginger in with the herbs for a bit of spicy flavor. It is important to use organic herbs whenever possible, as it is the healthier solution for your wellness.
Herb Tea Recipe:
- Ginger, sliced then crushed
- Hot water, just short of boiling
Brew rosemary, fresh ginger, and basil together with green or black tea until leaves completely collapse and water color is a warm brown shade. Serve hot.
How to Grow Organic Herbs Indoors
Decide what herbs will work best for your light exposure. Most leafy-type herbs such as basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, and parsley will do well with any indirect bright light for 6 to 8 hours per day. Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and sage tend to need stronger lighting and might need to be planted under a grow light for a minimum of 15 hours per day.
If starting from seed, follow seed packet directions for seed starting, then transplant. Using Kellogg Garden Organics Organic Select Potting Mix Formulated With BiocharMax in the small starter pots, add the recommended amount of organic fertilizer according to package directions, then plant the new baby plants. Water regularly, however, be cautious about over-watering your indoor plants as this can trigger disease and other concerns.
Start the herbs anytime in the winter and harvest carefully throughout the winter. In order to have the herbs last longer, simply cut 1/3 of the plant at a time, then let the herbs grow back in again. With this cautious 1/3-at-a-time cutting technique, you can have herbs all winter long and transplant the adult plants into the garden in the spring.
About the Author:
Shawna Coronado is a successful author, blogger, photographer, and media host who focuses on wellness by teaching green lifestyle living, organic gardening, and anti-inflammatory culinary. Most recently Shawna has written the books, “The Wellness Garden” and “101 Organic Gardening Hacks”. Shawna campaigns for social and community good – her garden, food, and eco adventures have been featured in many media venues including television news programming, radio broadcasting, and PBS television. You can learn more about Shawna at www.shawnacoronado.com.