Top 5 Perennial Tea Plants for Cold Climates

What a weekend! If you’re like me and you live in the Gallatin Valley, last weekend didn’t really get me into the gardening spirit! With heavy snow, rain, hail, and below freezing temperatures, I can’t say it’s unexpected but it’s often disheartening.

​Luckily, it seems like most everything in the garden and food forest pulled through. While it’s been great to have the moisture, the low temperatures and heavy wet snow did impact the fruit tree blossoms and crushed some of the annual plants that I had covered with frost cloth. I’ll have to replace some of my broccoli seedlings but most annual plants will likely recover. It remains to be seen how our fruit yields will be impacted this season. 

This past weekend aside, we are rapidly moving into our growing season. I’m getting my fill of greens from the greenhouse, along with peas, cilantro, and pac choi. Tomatoes will go in this weekend; peppers, basil and squash will go in the first week of June. I’m also thinking about what other plants to add to my food forest this season, which is why I wanted to share my latest video with you today. 

In it, I talk with my friend and fellow permaculture practitioner, Jessica Peterson from Wild Willow Wellness, about her top 5 perennial plants that she grows for tea. Click on the video to learn more. While we can’t enjoy garden-grown green tea or a homegrown cup of Earl Grey, we do have a lot of options available to us. In this video, Jesse shares tea plants that not only have a great flavor but also have medicinal value. These would be great plants to add to a food forest and as we discuss, some of these plants have multiple functions. 

On our homesteads, we’re always striving for a bit more self-reliance. With our annual garden and some fruit trees and berry bushes, we can have many of our vegetables and fruit covered. But we can take it a step further by growing our own tea. In this way, we continue to expand the products that we provide for ourselves, knocking yet another item off of our grocery store list.

Some of the plants that Jesse covers aren’t the typical ones you would expect either so you’ll definitely want to check out our conversation. And stick around until the end when Jesse shares two of her tea blends, all made with ingredients that you can grow in a cold climate. 

What tea plants do you grow? Let me know in the comments below!