Field Tea-Foraging for Beverage Fun
“Field Tea” means making your tea out of whatever you forage from the plants growing outside in a field. It could be made from many yummy things, which in addition to looking pretty, are fun to pick. My friend Sarah F. was the first to introduce me to the name “Field tea”. I was staying at her house up-state and came into her kitchen loaded up with dandelion, clover and violet leaves. When I cooked up my tea for her on the camp stove, she said “Lise, that is a tasty field tea!”.
Most of the plants that we consider to be weeds, such as dandelion, clover, plantain, and violets, are also power packed with nutrients. Did you ever notice that when you pick the plants, poison them, pull them out, they will always grow back? This is because these plants have stamina and are themselves packed with nutrients. If you learn to eat them instead of trying to destroy them you will see a huge benefit to your health.
Because I love nature, I have learned to recognize edible plants in the wild. It does not take a lot of skill to learn the plants. All you have to do is identify the mild edible ones, and figure out where they grow.
Wild foods like sumac berries, poor man’s pepper, tiger lily roots and jewelweed seeds all sound exotic, but believe me, you would like them! And best of all, if you recognize them in the wild, these plants grow everywhere, so wherever you are you will always have your own free supermarket.
Beginner Rules for foraging are 100:20:3. Only harvest plants that you are 100% sure you have identified, take only up to 20% from one area so that there is something for the animals, and focus on only 3 plants per foraging adventure so you know that you got it right.
Serfei Boutenko’s excellent foraging book “Wild Edibles” is a fantastic resource if you want to learn more. He gives plant identifying info, recipes as well as nutritional information for all of his wild plants.
Only harvest what you have 100% identified! If you are only harvesting leaves or flowers cut off the part you are going to use with a scissors and leave the whole plant in the ground so it can re-grow. Harvest away from where dogs have been, near trash or roads or parked cars.
Roots- Clean off dirt and scrub with a veggie brush. Chop up and boil in filtered water for twenty minutes. Let steep for 20 minutes. Mix with your flowers and leaves.
Flowers and Leaves-wash to get rid of bugs. Boil your water take off the heat. Put in your flowers and leaves. Let it steep for ten minutes.
Dandelion– You can recognize them by their yellow flower heads, and serrated leaves. Use heads, flowers and roots. Best when in flower.
Violets– Violets have a heart shape leaf and are loaded with Vitamin C. Use violet flowers or leaves. Best when in flower.
Clover– These add a mellow green flavour to your tea. Bees love them and you should too.
I love to make field tea because
- It is exciting to find the plants, like finding a treasure
- The tea is delicious
- It makes me and my family feel great
- You can’t argue with the free price tag!
- I enjoy using the plants to see how they work
Field Tea-Foraging for Beverage Fun
A fresh tasting field tea that you can make anywhere. Great after an intense day hiking or jumping in a river. I like to drink mine in the hammock while I think about how much fun I have had.
- Prep Time: 1 minute
- Cook Time: 1 minute
- Total Time: 2 minutes
- Yield: 8 oz.
- Category: Tea
- Method: Boiling
- Cuisine: Tea
3 dandelion flowers
3 dandelion leaves
optional for taste: fresh or dried mint
8 oz filtered water
Boil water, turn off heat. Add flowers and leaves. Steep for ten minutes. Enjoy.
I like to take dried mint with my camping stuff, that way I always have a minty flavour that tastes good with any herbs. If you recognize your plants 100%, feel free to adjust the ingredients. Another nice one to use is pine needles. That one is very reviving and refreshing. Please, please! Identify at 100%!
“Field Tea- Foraging for beverage fun” is the second post of the July series “Eating Outside”. If you are in the mood for more nature, please visit our other posts Eating Outside, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Dr. Seuss, and Helen Keller.
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“Field Tea- Foraging for beverage fun” first appeared on the blog L.S.Lvewell. For more info about what we do here, visit our “About” page. Copyright 2018 Lisa Shaub.