Growing your own tea
by Joyce Lavene
From the Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries
People around the world have enjoyed tea for thousands of years. The aroma, color and taste have been hotly debated (excuse the pun) and have been the cause of more than one duel!
Tea is made from the leaves of camellia sinensis. This is an evergreen that is cousin to our camellia japonica which produces such beautiful, showy flowers and shiny green leaves. Camellia sinensis doesn’t have great flowers, but it has something much better.
Legends say that Chinese Emperor Shen Nung made a fire below
a tree to heat water one day. Some leaves from the tree fell into his pot. The drink
was both bitter and refreshing. He
realized that he had discovered a wonderful new herb which he called “ch’a” which is the Chinese
word for ‘check or investigate’.