This is a guest post from my friend Jaime, a homesteading mama of five and an herb lover/garden nut. If you forage or grow herbs each year, you may recognize yourself as she talks about flying around the gardens and fields trying to harvest and preserve all the useful herbs she can. Ever done that? Uh, yeah, I do – just about every year.
After you read through her post, I suggest you look at her tea combination and determine how many you already grow. Also look at how many of these plants you have growing wild in your area.
If you can gather these wild plants, one of the best part about them is that they’re FREE. The process of ethically harvesting, preserving and using wild plants is called foraging, or wildcrafting. If this process is new to you, or you’d simply like to expand your knowledge of wildcrafting, I suggest the course below offered by the Herbal Academy.
The kids and I are taking the Botany and Wildcrafting course this summer – we’ve already started taking notes on what’s blooming in the coloring book the offer with the course. Oh yeah, diggin’ the coloring book, I tell ya, and so are the kids. There are pages to take notes, too, and we’ve started using them. Our first project will be to use chickweed to make this great skin tonic from Homespun Seasonal Living.
We’ll let you know more about the course and we move through the summer, but you can check it out below at your convenience below.
The Mess of Herbs in Summer
Summer Mess Peppermint Tea
I had a large selection of quite a few little things. The bulk of it was made of peppermint because I collect mint. So, there were:
- 11 types of Mint
- 2 types of Pineapple Sage
- 2 types of Lavender
- 8 different Basils
- Monarda (Bee Balm)
- A few leaves of Yarrow and Mullein
Homestead Lady interjects – To learn to decoct (make/steep) a simple herbal tea, click here.
Don’t feel like you have to copy Jaime’s combination exactly to make this messy peppermint tea. But look at that combo! The flavor of the peppermint tea has got to be astounding and the health benefits would be robust. To learn just a little more about some of these herbs, follow these links:
- Rosemary Benefits from Joybilee Farm
- Basil and Its Benefits from us here at Homestead Lady
- 10 Reasons to Grow Lavender from Grow, Forage, Cook, Ferment
- Bee Balm Uses from Nitty Gritty Life
If you live in a city and feel like you’re limited in your foraging and don’t have the space for the garden, all these herbs can be grown in pots on a sunny deck. You don’t have to grow 100 herbs to be healthy. Start with just a few and get really good at growing them. We have a book to help with that, if potted herbs are your thing. See below:
To Preserve the Herbal Mess for Future Peppermint Tea
From that collection, I just laid them into a very large, flat box. After that, I turned them once a week to break up the moisture, and kind of forgot about them.
Homestead Lady interjects – if you live in an arid climate like Jaime does, you will have no problem with this. If you live in a crazy-humid climate like I do, you may want to hang your herbs to dry them. Learn more about harvesting and preserving herbs by clicking here.
Come January, I was cleaning up my storage room to find some mint tea. We do like tea at my house. I came across this wonderful batch of dried herbs.
I crushed the herbs into smaller pieces and put them into a large glass jar. When I was ready to make the peppermint tea, I used my immersion blender to blend the herbs into even smaller pieces. This made the most lovely tea ever.
This summer I grew even more medicinal and culinary herbs and made this peppermint tea on purpose. Our family finds this tea to be very useful in keeping us healthy, and also keeping our tea addiction under control. Haha.
The first year we made this mix peppermint tea we made simple tea bags, or used reusable strainers. This year, we even consume the leaf bits as we drink our tea.
If you have a surplus of herbals this summer, make summer mess peppermint tea and use them up. Here’s to your health!
Jaime has been married to her Prince Charming for 21 years. She has 5 Charmings in training. For the past 5 and a half years, they have been pursuing the self-sufficient life in the middle of nowhere in Southern Alberta.
A Few More Ideas
For more ideas on what to do with mint, from ant deterrent to cooling down with it on hot days, please visit this post.
For some fruity teas from the garden you may have overlooked, try these from Joybilee Farm.
Immune Boosting Herbal Tea from These Lovely Acres
Lemon Thyme Tea from Pistachio Project
If you need a holiday tea, try this Spruce Tea from Healthy Green Savvy