by Naomi Rosen
I've been following the US Grown Tea movement for a while now. Three years ago I had the pleasure of meeting some Hawaiian tea growers at the World Tea EXPO and was really impressed with the teas that I had a chance to sample. Therein started my research on US grown tea and I came across a few growers in Oregon, Washington and South Carolina.
While US grown tea had my attention, it wasn't a primary focus for me. About this time last year, I came across the FB page of a farm in MS claiming that it was going to grow tea. I started following their progress and eventually contacted the farmer and was told that there was a new US League of Tea Growers (USLTG) forming and that I was invited to check out their inaugural meeting at this years World Tea EXPO. The rest is all kind of a blur.
Jason McDonald, who owns the Mississippi Tea Co., and I became wonderful friends and I now voluntarily help maintain the social media and newsletter arms of the USLTG. I got a note from him a few weeks back that he had sent a little thank you gift with Elyse Peterson (Tealet) who was making her way from MS to Las Vegas. Imagine my joy when she handed me this beautiful little tea bush, whom I've lovingly named Teany! It's a part of their (Elyse and Jason) #TeaAcrossAmerica initiative and I am proudly representing Nevada! The goal is to start conversations, exchange information and share our tea growing experiences via picture, video and social media. As of right now, we still have plants available for an eager grower in Delaware and Nebraska! If you are in either of these states, and would be interested in being a part of #TeaAcrossAmerica, visit this link and submit your information. The bushes will be sent out in waves over the next 8 weeks with simple care instructions. I look forward to tracking how Teany's brothers and sisters are doing across America!