We are thrilled that, thanks to a generous donation, we have been provided with the opportunity to grow a ‘mini’ tea plantation. We will be test driving farming, on a small scale to start, the medicinal plants that are used in the preparation of our botanical teas and tinctures.
The medicinal plants we shall be growing initially are those that grow well here in Northumberland. These include a herb used in many of our botanical preparations, the calming and attention-boosting lemon balm. Another physic garden favourite herb we will be growing is European sage, used for 100’s of years to ‘restore’ the brain and shown by our team to improve memory. Others plants include arctic roseroot that is shown clinically to improve memory and mood, the popular calming valerian and German chamomile, stimulating mint and immune-boosting elecamphane, as well as favourite plants to enhance consciousness, like Chinese mugwort and catnip. We shall be trialling different growing techniques for the plants in order to achieve optimum harvest, from bare soil and raised mounds, to the popular horticultural black plastic, grit and woodchip.
This plantation test drive will add to our eco-profile. The herbs will provide the physic garden with a sustainable source of the dried herbs that we use in our teas, tinctures and other botanical preparations, the herbs grown right on our doorstep to reduce our carbon footprint. In addition and by no means least, the harvests will help make the Dilston Physic Garden charity a more sustainable business so we are growing more of the herbs that we use.
Be sure to keep an eye on the tea plantation’s progress and say “Hello” to Matt, who will be managing the project on your next visit, and call back here to see more photos as it progresses.
Photos are by physic garden volunteer Sonia Tully.