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Although we have been closed this month we have been busy- no vacation here! Lots to do in the gardens, classes to teach,product to be made and Lavendar is still being harvested. We are still shipping bunches of fresh cut Lavender at $5.00 a bunch, email me at beagleridge@gmail.com  and we will send some out to you right away. The fragrance of fresh lavender is wonderful and the building is full of fragrance as we keep on cutting. We are usually done harvesting by the end of July but the cool summer has actually extended our season.In addition we have been blending some teas for you to enjoy this fall. Check out the special below. 

As summer's  heat finally decends on us I realize how fortunate we have been. For the first time in years we have continued to have wonderful rain, cool nights and no need for air conditioning, until now. Yes the dog days are here and I for one have been spoiled, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The gardens have never been this lush, the Japanese beetles have barely made a showing and even the powdery mildew is at a minimum. Since we do not water the gardens, at all, the  rain has shown us what the gardens would have looked like with irrigation. We have been pleased with our plantings but this year has really opened my eyes and we may have to reconsider and water some next year. We'll see! 

Summers favorite drink isn't Lemonade it is Tea.Well depending what kind of tea you like, whether a sweet tea from the south,  or one of the myriad of beverages known as tea, read on.       Have you ever thought about where tea comes from? I mean the plant which provides the basis for this much loved beverage. Tea comes from Camellia Sinesis.  Yes, before you correct me, the same plant with those wonderful fall or spring blooms which is loved throughout the south provides the leaves which give us tea. The wide varieties of green, black and even white teas on the market are clipped from the wonderful Camellia Sinesis. These leaves are then blended into an endless variety of beverages known as that magical elixir called TEA.
       This is true for many but not all the teas we drink. Today, the term Tea can mean any of a wide variety of beverages some of which may contain herbs, spices or flowers either alone or blended with tea leaves.  The term is used so loosely and this article will attempt to make the vague term TEA a bit more understandable. Herbal teas which do not contain any of the Camellia leaves are caffeine free and are known as Tisanes.  Rather, an herbal tea is more properly called a Tisane or infusion, which is a  "tea" brewed from any plant other than the Camellia..
       Herbal teas, Tisanes, can be medicinal but many of us enjoy them as a refreshing beverage of choice. They can be enjoyed hot or cold and are simple to make once you decide what flavors you prefer. I enjoy my fresh herbs cold and my dry herbs hot. Let me explain what I mean by that.
       In the summer, when the garden provides a plethora of choices, I enjoy Tisanes as a refreshing drink. In the winter, I prefer them hot and spicy, to enjoy warm and soothing. 

I make my "Tea" or Tisanes a little different than most recipes suggest. As a refreshing beverage I do not use boiling water on my fresh herbs.

My method is very simple: 1. Pick your herb or herbs, of choice, making sure they are clean and free from any visitors from the garden.

2.Bruise them- crinkle them up in your fingers to release the essential oils.

3. Add them to a pitcher of water and refrigerate overnight.

4. Remove them and enjoy your tea. Can you think of anything simpler? For a stronger flavor add more herbs, it is as simple as that.

My favorite fresh herb tea this time of year is Peppermint or Peppermint/ Lemon Balm. When you are hot and thirsty it is the perfect respite. If that same combination was made with boiling water it would taste very different and would need a bit of sugar to offset the bitterness. I have found that when I add boiling water to fresh herbs they develop a bitter taste as well as a bit of GREEN flavor. If I need a medicinal drink, whether it is for a sore throat, or a cold, then Yes I make a hot tea with fresh herbs.

Dried tea blends are made with boiling water and usually are enjoyed warm, but may be chilled for a great summer drink too. When using a dry tea blend add I tsp. of tea to a tea ball, or even in a coffee filter, per 1Cup of water. Don’t steep it more than a few minutes, I usually do 3 minutes, but experiment for yourself and see what your taste buds tell you.

We sell three dried tea blends, at Beagle Ridge, Licorice Mint, Fruit Tea, and Ambrosia. The first two are caffeine free since they only contain herbs. Ambrosia is a very flavorful blend but it does contain some black tea, leaves from the Camellia, so it is not caffeine free. In addition we sell jars of Earl Grey and Rooibos. Although most of you know and love Earl Grey, Rooibos or Red tea is quickly becoming one of my favorites. We have these teas available in 2 oz. and 4oz. tins and I will be adding them to the website shortly.

Back to Rooibos; several of years ago my mother in law bought me a set of teas from around the world. I had never heard of red tea so she thought I would enjoy it and she was right, I loved it.  Rooibos is said to ease insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension and even help with allergies. In many Herb Shoppes you will find it called Allergy Tea. Regardless of the hype, it is caffeine free, doesn’t need any sweetener and I drink a lot of it, so give it a try.

Pesto Class on Sept 5th at 1:00 PM Join us as we 
make several types of pesto. Can we ever have enough pesto? Learn how you can enjoy this taste of summer all winter long.Price: $15.00
Herbal Oil and Vinegar Class Sept  12  1:00 PM Learn how to take the bounty of your garden and create delecious oils and vinegars and enjoy the flavor of your herbs all winter long. Bring a container to take home your creations and come hungry for lots of tasting. Price: $15.00 all materials included 
Bath Salts and Lotions Class Sept 19 100 PM 
Make your own bath salts as a stress reliever and a lotion to go with it. $15.00 

Tea Special Try our tea blends Licorice Mint, Fruit or Ambrosia  

Our Price: $3.50  a tin
List Price: $5.00 on the web special only!
S & H: Free with $10.00 purchase   

Although we are closed this month join us when we reopen on Sept 5th. Check out the coupon below.

Ellen and Gregg Reynolds
Beagle Ridge Herb Farm

Save 25% Join us when we reopen on Sept. 5th for a special sale on all PLANTS. Get 25% off for your fall planting.  Please feel free to copy this coupon and share it with friends for this special sale.Blooming Bucks will not be in effect for this sale. 
Offer Expires: Sept 6th, 2009