Sometimes there are moments in life, ideas that spark, an unexpected path you have to follow.
Two years ago, I was sitting in a quiet moment with a cup of tea pondering trees, farms, growing and regenerative systems. How could we grow more trees? How could we bring more energy and non-timber harvests into UK forests? How could we strengthen our relationship with trees?
Looking down into my cup of tea, I thought, this is made from the leaf of a tree. Through thousands of years of culture, process and relationship to the living world, a wondrous health drink was created that now sits in boxes in cupboards across the world - a commodity that is totally detached from the tree and the origins of its culture.
In that moment multiple thoughts flowed.
What if we used native European tree species to make tea? How would that taste? What health benefits would they offer? What lost land culture could we discover? How about tea from trees harvested from other parts of the world?
I started researching and exploring a rich seam of ethnobotanical stories and information. It felt like I had stumbled upon something special, a way of connecting us to trees, culture and ritual.
So that’s how it all started. With the fascination that tea - from trees - offers an incredible way of protecting and nourishing us and the planet.
Growing trees for ‘tea’, either on farms or as wild forest harvests, creates so many shared benefits. Leaves nourish the soil, roots oxygenate the ground, the canopy oxygenates and cleanses the air, provides shelter and protection. The leaves, fruit and bark not only benefit our health, but feed a multitude of other species.
If we are reciprocal and regenerative in our actions we can strength our bodies through the powerful health giving properties of trees and in return work with them, care for them and protect our planet.
The income forest communities gain from harvesting and selling tea means they can sustain their life and protect their forest home land. This isn’t just something that can happen in other parts of the world.
We are currently working towards invigorating non-timber forest harvests in the UK.
Exploring the incredible health benefits of our native tree species. Super foods from this land.
Breathing new life and diversity into the way we work with trees and forests here.
Generating income from keeping our trees standing and growing powerful, health giving landscapes for collective health.