I’ve been putting off writing up my thoughts/a review on Tea Growing, by C.R. Harler. And what better way to do that than to write a different post?
Yes, there’s four different links there; three articles (the last is a link to their home site), and a video. I only just recently learned about this, and what better timing? They’re coming up on their four years, and getting ready for their first harvest. It’s exciting. Of course, I’m assuming the prices will be way out of my range, but I’ve got time to save up, I guess.
Canada’s certainly a very unique region to grow tea, so the results will be interesting. One article does draw a nice connection to the BC wine industry, which also had an interesting (rocky, underdog) start.
I’d be interested in knowing more about the plants they’re currently growing; none of the articles (unless I missed it) go on to mention what varietal of tea is being used. I suspect var. sinensis over assamica, simply because it’s hardier and more resistant to the wider and colder annual temperature range around here (and the slim leaves in the video certainly LOOK like sinensis). Because of this, I hope they take advantage or at least experiment with flushes.
Although sinensis tea usually does best only in high altitude estates (>900 metres [and the best flushes seem to come from these]), it would be interesting to see; as a note, the tea farm is located in a flatter area of Cowichan Valley, at only about 62 metres above sea level. Hopefully if they do well, however, there’ll be plans to expand, since Vancouver Island and in fact much of the coast has a good selection of mountains above 900 metres, and many above 2000 metres.
If anything, their success might attract competitors to experiment with growing into the mountains.
Here’s hoping they’ve a copy of C.R. Harler’s Tea Growing, and maybe a few other sources as well. Good luck.