There are many benefits of wild-harvested and hand-crafted natural teas. Here are some of the qualities of wild-harvested plants that inspired us to create these lovely tea blends:
1. Wild-harvested plants are picked at their peak of freshness and so deliver the most delicious, nutritious and flavourful teas.
2. Wild harvesting is how humans have gathered herbs, roots, berries and flowers for thousands of years. We are maintaining important practices that help us to connect with, honour and respect the natural world.
3. Plants that have grown uncultivated are more resilient than many cultivated varieties…wild plants have not been pampered with regular watering, competition control, etc. They have undergone natural selection, so only the strongest plants-those richest in nutrients and active compounds, survive.
It is important to note that there are some plants, trees, and fungi that we won't wild-harvest for commercial use, for various reasons. Some are sacred medicines to Indigenous communities (and I've received teachings that they should not be commercialized), and some are being over-harvested, so we stay away from those as well.
Although wild harvesting offers many benefits, as more people become interested in this activity, the potential to seriously impact wild plant populations through over-harvesting and improper harvesting techniques increases. So...much care needs to be taken to ensure knowledgeable, ethical, respectful and sustainable harvesting of wild plants at all times.
We will explore sustainable wild-harvesting practices in a future article.
Photo is of my youngest son harvesting Labrador tea in the fall.
Wild harvesting Labrador tea.
Paddling to harvest some riparian plants.