Why a Tea Farm?
Tea seems like a strange choice for San Juan Island. How exactly did this unique and special idea take shape?
It all began in the spring of 2018. We were talking of retiring and neither of us wanted to sit around and read books. We are “A” type personalities and both needed something that kept us vital. We talked about a vineyard, but the varieties of grapes that thrive in our environment were not our favorite (good but not our daily wine). We started scouting around for an alternative. We knew it had to be something that would help us make use of our property but we did not want a year around chore.
The more research we did the harder the challenge and the smaller the choices. Then we hit upon tea. It grows in a multitude of climates, from semi tropical to high in the mountains. Surely it must be able to adapt to San Juan Island. The more we read, the more we researched online, the better it began to sound.
Then in the spring of 2019 tragedy befell us. Yvonne’s long time friend and riding companion (Nicholas a thoroughbred/paint) passed on. After a few months Yvonne decided she was going to retire from riding, leaving us with an unused riding arena.
Bingo, the size was perfect for the tea farm. We mapped out the farm and accommodated Greg’s desire for a Japanese Garden by expanding the area to include land above the arena. Test holes were drilled, a consultant was brought in and the decision was made. As spring progressed the rains were incessant. The arena being compacted and then with crushed rock and sand, turned into a swamp. Tea does not like wet feet, so the decision was made to reverse the garden and farm.
We travelled to the Big Island of Hawaii and visited tea farms, we joined the US Tea Growers Association and read information until our eyes bled. We had the soil tested, sourced 800 tea plants and had them delivered and we were now unstoppable.
Our tea expertise has grown exponentially and we have now embarked on the “Grand Crusade”. We are first tea farm in the San Juan archipelago and at the time of this writing, the only tea farm in the state of Washington. Our network of tea aficionados has grown as has the resources for knowledge.
What started out as a retirement project has turned into an all-consuming passion. Join us and see why tea is the world’s second most consumed liquid, the first is water.