We finally made it out to the Cowichan Valley’s Tea Farm a couple of weekends ago on a rather dark Sunday afternoon. Our friend and I had talked about checking it out last year, but we never did make it, so recently we made a point of setting a date so we would actually go.
The Tea Farm is on Richards Trail, which runs between Herd Road and Westholme Road, a very pretty, scenic drive in itself. Before we bought our property on Cameron-Taggart Road we actually almost bought one on Richards Trail, so I enjoyed the drive there very much. We spent a lovely couple of hours at the farm, enjoying a pot of tea of our choice and some delicious cake and chocolate truffles, locally hand made by Pearl Chocolate.
Owner Margit Nellemann, who was our hostess, took lots of time to tell us about their product. The Tea Farm is an organic farm and is the only place in Canada where tea is being grown. Two hundred tea plants were planted and are now in their 4th year. So far so good, only one plant has been lost, although when we visited the deer had just gotten into the tea! Deer are a fact of life in the Cowichan Valley, and regular visitors around our property too, so tea plants are obviously not on the “deer proof” list either! While the tea plants are maturing to a first harvest, Margit and partner Victor bring in organic teas from around the world and make their own blends with herbs, plants and flowers grown on their property. The tea of the day was Pig Tea, and we had a sample of that, and I then tried horse tea, a herbal tea from their Zodiac tea line, while our friend had an earl grey tea blended with lavender.
What was also really appealing is that the tea cups and pastry plates and some of the teapots are all made by Margit, who is also a potter. A little rectangular container made by Margit with branches and flowers from the gardens was the table centre arrangement, very simple but effective, and added a lovely touch. It all went together really well with the rustic west coast style building.
The wood stove was going, a little music was playing, while outside the tea room the skies were clearing and all the different fresh greens of spring were opening up. People were relaxing and taking their time. What a great way to spend an afternoon! You are able to smell the teas from sample tins displayed, so while I liked the horse tea and took some home, I also brought home a tin of the rooster tea, which I’m really enjoying. It’s a more spicy tea, but still herbal, and has a lovely aroma. I’m sure I’ll be back to pick up some more!
There are so many unique specialty food and drink products being grown and created in the Valley, it’s a pleasure to find out about them. I’ll definitely be telling our guests at Cobble House Bed & Breakfast about the Tea Farm, another great Cowichan Valley attraction. They are open from Wednesday through Sunday 10 am – 5 pm and check their website for special monthly events.