Tag Archives: teaberry

That fluffy light feeling

15 Nov

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The first snow landed gently last evening.

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Even the smaller branches will withstand snow of this nature.

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This morning the feelings is still here in the freshness of the obvious change.

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Another morning view and now as I write these words the snow has already left all the branches in the photos.

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Moving on in more of a wintergreen direction, a look at the largest Teaberry I’ve ever seen. ciao

Wintergreen tea pick

18 Jan

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We are having a January thaw right now, much of the  accumulated snow has melted this week, though in most of the surrounding forest there is still plenty of snow except for areas like this one where some jack pine trees have been recently cut and the forest floor close to the stumps are snow free and Wintergreen leaves are now visibly available to those who may choose to partake in gathering some fresh leaves for tea.

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Here is a closer look at the Teaberry plant aka wintergreen, (Gaultheria procumbens) its small round red leaves are noticeable on the south-side of the stump. Now the majority of the wintergreen leaves in these woods where the trees are still standing has (green) leaves beneath the snow, though in open areas like this the leaves are often red which makes for a pink colored tea of good flavour.

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Marguerit is also here today to join in the gathering of these small leaves with a big taste. I mentioned earlier on in a post in November the flavour of wintergreen doesn’t reveal itself right away, you need a little patience as it takes a couple days of fermentation for the flavour to fully appear. I use a few handfuls of cleaned leaves placed in a jar add a litre of boiling spring water and close the lid for 2 days. After I may drink the strained tea cold or reheated, the leaves from the ferment can be used a second time by just steeping them again with newly boiled water or they can be dried and packaged for later use. cheers

Gaultheria teas

17 Nov

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Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens) is a very common plant under Jack Pine trees on dry sandy soil in my neck of the woods. The red berries are starting to get large and will be a nice cold weather treat from now until May any time they are visible as they may possibly be snow covered for a few weeks to 4 months, time will tell.

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Today I’m gathering a few berries but mostly the plant leaves for tea. Some folks prefer the red leaves which seem to grow in the drier sunnier areas.

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I’m also collecting some green Teaberry leaves from a shadier area to compare the 2 different colored leaves flavour.

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Ah, a wet spot in the Jack pines and here we see some green Teaberry leaves and below them is Moxie-plum (Gaultheria hispidula) which has tasty white berries during the summer and its wintergreen leaves may even make a better tea than teaberries. So I’m going to do some Gaultheria tea testing in the next few days.

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Moxie-plum (Gaultheria hispidula) usually grows in wet areas on or near old tree stumps and is rare compared to Teaberry in my area.DSC06530

Here we see a larger mature stem with many small round leaves this one is well over a foot long.

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I found a couple tea testers here at the house who will sample both the red and green Teaberry teas and also the Moxie-plum leaf tea in coming days as I must first ferment the leaves for a day or 2 before the tea tasting begins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fk11Acjofu8

Gaultheria products are rarely made today though they were used many years ago. I suspect the Teaberry gum in the video was originally made with Teaberries in the early 1900s but by the time of the 1960’s video probably was made with more easily obtained ingredients, nevertheless the videos is kinda fun and the song was a popular instrumental when I was a lad. I will post the results of our (in-house tea tasting event) as an update in this post in a few days.

UPDATE Nov 19/2013

Both Gaultheria procumbens and Gaultheria hispidula leaves when fermented for 2 days make incredibly great teas. Gaultheria hispidula won the (in-house tea tasting event) by 2 votes to 1 as it was slightly more smooth though both were truly flavourful.

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Since Gaultheria procumbens is one of our most common forest plants I will choose it as the one I gather and ferment  frequently this winter. If you live where this plant is common, enjoy fresh air and walking in the woods and also have space for a few small mason jars to ferment for a day or 2, then you clearly owe this small investment of timely pleasure to yourself. This is one tasty medicinal tea. cheers

Under the pines and aspens

27 May

Here is a look at a fully ripe teaberry, (Gaultheria procumbens) these little treats have a wintergreen flavor, but if your allergic to aspirin you’ll be unable to eat these safely. With the aid of a white pine cone I was able to display the expanded fruit’s interesting shape which naturally faces down. Click on to check it out.

Lady’s slipper (Cyrpripedium acaule) are real common in many of the maritime forest types and this one is no exception.

A close-up

Bunchberry appears to only have one flower though each little section in the central part could produce a red berry, so this one may have a dozen berries in a few months. This forest plant is very common here.               Enjoy the common things,—- when——now, ciao.

Spring flowers, fruits and fungus

18 Apr

Flowers first—Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)-smells like Avon’s calling

Here is a patch of Trailing Arbutus leaves, the flowers in this shady area won’t be in bloom for a few weeks.

A week ago I mentioned Teaberry  was the only northern fruit I knew that ripened in the spring, well I figured out tonight Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) also overwinters as an immature fruit  and then ripens in the spring. Partridgeberry has some medicinal properties. So here is partridgeberry my (how did I not already know this) of the day.

And Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens) wintergreen flavored leaves and berries.

These Red-belt polypore’s bright color stood out from a far distance, another pleasant evening with a few woodpeckers creating the background music in this new area for me of mid to young birch and poplar trees.

Red-belt polypore appears to have some impressive medicinal properties which actually have been utilized by man for a few thousand years and is once again gathering renewed attention.

Another nice Phellinus

ciao for now

True nature is always in season

4 Apr

I set out this evening to visit an area which I suspected may have the first spring flowers in my area, interestingly enough another plant I forgot about was flowering. I love it when true nature proves me of the path again, anyway I have a few things to show you tonight.

Coltsfoot –Tussilago farfara —- This is a very common plant in Atlantic Canada and has medicinal uses, usually for cough relief. These are the first local spring flowers other than Skunk cabbage flowers

Teaberry–Gaultheria procumbens— Now I  think most folks in the north would be surprised to learn that the first ripe berry of the year is the Teaberry which actually over winters and then continues to increase in size and ripen fully in May to June, at least this is so in my neck of the woods. Teaberry fruit and leaves taste of wintergreen and have medicinal properties, don’t try this plant if you are allergic to aspirin.

Japanese knotweed–Polygonum cuspidatum— These grow into large plants often over 8 ft high, here is a photo of young buds, the early growth up to 1 ft can be used similar to rhubarb in desserts or like asparagus as a vegetable.

Trailing Arbutus–Epigaea repens—- This is the one I suspected may be in bloom in dry sandy jack pine areas, nope maybe in 7 to 10 days by the look of this photo.

Wild blueberry–Vaccinium angustifolium—Here are the spring blueberry stems which in the photo resembles a wild blueberry plant forest.

Cattails–In this photo both Typha latifolia & Typha angustifolia are growing together you will need to click the photo once or twice to enlarge enough to notice the different head sizes.

Lastly, I’m going to enter a page at some point concerning interesting rocks I encounter, here are a few from tonight’s adventure. Also there are plenty of info on the net for uses of the above plants so check them out if they grow in your area, cheers for true nature.