Tea Harvest In Seattle

Budset of Seattle tea harvest July 2008It’s harvest time in my back yard. Tea harvest. Or so I thought. (It’s never that simple, is it?) I’ve been growing a tea plant in the back yard for a couple of years, letting it get established before I really start to pick in earnest. When we bought it, it was a couple of years old, too, which gave us a head start on the typical 7-or-so years it takes before a tea plant can be put into production. Last year I did some trimming to encourage branching and to start training the bush. (I have another bush but it’s still inside because I didn’t get it in the ground soon enough for winter. That’s another story altogether.)

Anyway, I went out today because it’s supposed to be sunny and warm today and I want to let the picking wither in the sun. I picked four leaf/bud sets when the wasps (bald faced hornets, perhaps) that had set up shop on one of the lower branches got upset. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ve got my four budsets in the sun, but that’s not enough for a single cup of tea.

I’ve done a little research on bald faced hornets (which is what these guys look like) and supposedly they’re not aggressive. Unless you get close to, or disturb, their nest. They apparently like to sting people in the face. If only I could pick the leaves without jiggling the plant so much.

Now I know what bears must feel like.

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