Plant Medicine – Spruce / Pine Tip Syrup & Tea ala Little Mountain Ranch.

Originally in this spot I was going to write about my experience trying my cannabis spray. Instead, I bring you today’s subject because the spruce trees are growing new tips RIGHT NOW and I wanted to get the information out there for anyone who wants to harvest their own! Cannabis is coming, I promise.

My friend Chelsea, has a YouTube channel where she vlogs about her homesteading lifestyle, amongst other awesome things.

She’s a truly great human being . The kind of person who inspires others and she shares some really awesome stuff.

She’s got a video up this week about making Spruce Tip/Pine Tip syrup. I had no idea a person could do such a thing!

Spruce and Pine tips are really high in vitamin C and while I’m not one for syrup, Chelsea mentions in her video that she also dries some tips for tea. Can you imagine the healing properties in that, right around cold and flu season? Now THAT is totally my jam, so today on my walk I brought along a bag and harvested my own spruce tips!

This is what they look like:

Like Chels says, you want the soft bits on the end and it’s pretty easy to tell the new tips from the old growth because the old growth is really ouchie to touch!

They pull off really easily too and it’s really pleasant to circle a giant tree, quietly picking off bits here and there. It would be wise to choose trees that are not near major roads and of course, it’s probably not a great idea to venture on to private property. I went to a local park that was well away from the road. Don’t take too much and if you’re witchy or so inclined, give the tree your thanks too.

But first, check out Chelsea’s video and channel here @ Little Mountain Ranch, for all the important information. She shares a lot of cool things and like I said, she’s an overall ginchy human you’ll want to get to know better.

I’ve got my tips drying in the sun right now:

And I’ll be back again, when I make my first cup of tea with them! Now get out there and get picking!

T is for *Tea. A-Z Challenge.

Tanzanian style tea!

I enjoyed many vibrantly spiced cups of tea whilst in Tanzania last year and of course I just had to go and fall in love! It’s like chai only so much more. A true cup of beauty! Rich and spicy. Warm and comforting. Like nothing I’d had before.

I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since to no avail, even though Grace, our lovely friend and guide so generously gave me detailed instructions. The spices I have aren’t as fresh, the water and milk are different, the tea is not even close to being as fragrant…boooo! I got the sugar down though, ha ha. That’s one thing! I’ve been driving myself nuts with the process but have still come up short. I guess it’s just one of those things.

ANYhoo, I do have a version that comes close and while not exactly “right” it was made per a Tanzanian’s instructions and it’s good!

Ready? This recipe serves one.

Smash up:

  1. 1 cinnamon stick
  2. 7 cardamom pods
  3. 5 cloves

Grate 5 slices of ginger.

Add one mug’s worth plus a touch more of water to pot. This mug holds 1.5 cups of water. You’re adding a touch more because some water is going to boil off in the process.

Add your spices to the water along with a good couple of grindings of black pepper.

Yeah,yeah. I didn’t grate the ginger. I am lazy. You should though!

Bring to a boil and boil gently for 5 min.

Turn heat to low and add your black tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Bring back to a simmer. If you’re not having milk, strain and serve. If you are having milk, you have to use canned milk. Seriously. It’s a must. Just trust me. Add your canned milk to the pot and heat through. Strain into mug.

Add sugar if you wish-I do- but the sugar must be the unprocessed kind:

Et voila, Tanzanian style tea.

I highly recommend you actually go to Tanzania and enjoy it authentically there! My version is good but there is nothing like the real thing. Report back here if you do!