Thursday, August 1, 2013
Where the Tea Grows
One of the reasons that I love to travel is that you never know what you might find. Last year while in Traverse City, we read that there was a tea farm nearby, but we didn't find it. In June, we decided we were going to make a point of locating Light of Day Organic Teas. It was really interesting and fun. Light of Day farm is Michigan’s only certified Demeter Biodynamic farm. “Biodynamics is a holistic, sustainable form of agriculture that dates all the way back to the 1920's. It takes into account everything from the cycles of the moon and stars to the soil, plants, animals and people, with the ultimate goal of making each garden or farm a healthy self-sustaining ecosystem.”
Light of Day products are grown certified 100% organic and certified Demeter Biodynamic under the guidelines of the National Organic Program, and Demeter U.S. The exceptionally high quality botanicals are hand-harvested, dried in their licensed commercial farm kitchen, and packaged carefully, on site. With each step in the process, positive intention and prayer for well being is offered up. They blend all of their private recipe teas in small batches to promote consistency, to maximize freshness and for optimal nutritive benefit.
When we walked through the door of the small shop and tea bar, we were warmly greeted and handed a cup of delicious tea, in a real cup! Our "hostess" was very knowledgeable and patient as she explained the many tea varieties available and the benefits of drinking each. The tea is actually grown on site for many of the varieties and so are any fruits, berries or herbs that might be added to a blend. She said they even grow their own oranges. For the teas that they can't grow locally, the buy only from other organic Fair Trade growers.
I couldn't get as close as I would have liked to show you the actual tea growing process, but you can see the building above and a closer view in the photo below.
Tea was available to purchase by the cup (which of course we did). You could also do a "tea tasting" for a small fee and try several varieties of tea. We came home with 3 varieties of tea. I bought Namaste from Nepal, an organic Nepalese first flush green tea and Peaceful Peninsulas, also an organic natural wirey-style green tea leaf with cherry, blueberry, grape, apple, rose hips, currant elderberry and hibiscus. The Namaste is my favorite because I don't "do flavors" as well as I like plain teas. The Peaceful Peninsula is a nice change in the afternoon. Because the fruits are all natural, there is no artificial taste that you often get from a tea bag or from tea leaves that have simply been sprayed with a flavoring. My husband selected an Herbal Tea, Hummingbird Nectar, because he loves a strong, fruity flavor. It is an organic, caffeine-free blend of Montmorency cherry, hibiscus, blueberry, grape, currant, elderberry and maple syrup bits.
This was one of the things I enjoyed doing most on our trip. I don't know how to explain it, but the place had a "good vibe" and we felt better when we left than when we got there, even after spending way too much money on tea and tea-related items. The tea is expensive compared to tea bags from the grocery store, or at least most people will have a moment of "sticker shock" when they see the prices. However, there is simply no way to compare this tea to anything you buy at your local market or even tea leaves from other places. These leaves aren't flavored with fruits, they have the actual fruits in them, which makes the taste so unique and fresh. You also get more than one cup from a teaspoon of tea leaves. I know that this will now be on our "must do" list when we make our next trip to Traverse City. You can read more about Light of Day Organic Teas by visiting their website here or following them on Facebook. I hope you enjoyed your tour!