Homemade Strawberry Tea Recipe

Try this homemade strawberry tea recipe for a refreshing, summery drink with a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants.

| December 2014

Tea has existed for thousands of years and continues to be a popular drink around the world. Imagine growing and preparing your own homemade tea from plants you can cultivate in your windowsill or backyard. Homegrown Tea (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2014) by Cassie Liversidge offers more than 40 different plant profiles as well as instructions about how to make homemade tea from their leaves, flowers and fruit. Try this homemade strawberry tea recipe from chapter 3, “Fruits.”

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Homegrown Tea.

Strawberries originate from the wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca), which is native to Eurasia and North America. Humans have been eating strawberries since the Stone Age. They have been cultivated since the sixteenth century and over time we have created bigger, sweeter, and more colorful varieties.

There are hundreds of varieties of strawberries, so choose one suitable to your location and climate. There are three main types: “June-bearing,” “everbearing,” and “day-neutral” varieties. June-bearing, or “summer-bearers,” yield the largest fruits over a short period of time. They are divided further into Early Season, Mid Season, and Late Season. “Everbearing,” “Alpine,” or “Wild” strawberries can produce very small fruit twice a year, once in the spring and again in the late summer. They do not tend to produce runners like the June-bearing varieties. Day-neutral or “perpetual” varieties produce lots of fruit over a long period of warm weather, but the fruit can be smaller than June-bearing varieties. Strawberry leaves, stems, flowers, and fruit can all be used to make tea.

Medicinal Benefits

Homegrown strawberries are very nutritious and contain lots of vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. Strawberries are believed to help with fevers, infections, fainting, and depression. They are an antioxidant and can help the liver as well as help alleviate digestive problems.

Grow Strawberries for Homemade Tea

Strawberry seeds can be slow to germinate, so I recommend starting off with small plants. It is ideal to buy your strawberry plants in the early spring so you have the full growing season ahead of you. Don’t plant strawberries where you previously planted potatoes, peppers, or tomatoes, as these can harbor disease within the soil. Strawberries need full sun and well-drained soil. They also need a fairly sheltered position so that bees and insects can easily pollinate the flowers. Mix some homemade compost or other humus into the soil where the strawberries are to be planted. Make a hole and place the plant so that the crown (the part from which the stems are growing) is at the same level as the earth. You can plant in a mound of soil to help raise the crown to the correct level. Use a mulch of straw around the plants, to help prevent slug damage and to keep the fruit clean and dry. Water well, especially when the fruits are ripening. Keep the area around your strawberries free of weeds so they do not take any goodness away from your plants. Strawberries will flower in the spring. If a late spring frost is forecast and your strawberries have flowers on them, place a horticultural fleece or light sheet over the plants for the night. Remove it the next morning or when the frost has passed. If the frost kills the flowers, you will not get any strawberries.

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