To understand Tonin Tea, we’ll have to take a little walk down memory lane – My father comes from New Brunswick, where our ancestors farmed. He dreamed of finding a warmer place where he didn’t have to shovel himself out 70% of the year, the other 30% eaten by bugs, and instead he could grow anything he wanted! His first move out of New Brunswick brought him to the land of the midnight sun, where I was born 😀 A few years later, when he was offered a job in Kelowna, he drove 40 hours down from Inuvik, and realized he’d stumbled into paradise! He grew a garden in every home I remember, then when he bought the family home in Upper Rutland, with rich soil and a mix of fruit trees, he planted his massive dream garden every year! He fed 6 children and a wife from this garden, only ever buying vegetables when absolutely necessary.
This wasn’t no ‘cup of tea’ either, it was hard work! Not only did you have to have a knowledge of plants and bugs, which you’d use to plan the garden, as you’d have to rotate crops, there was tilling the ground, hoeing the soil into rows, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting at correct times, and clearing the land for next year – there was always something to do! I remember one night, we were woken up to Dad turning on our bedroom lights, and saying ‘UP UP! It’s going to frost! everybody up!’ and we all ran outside and harvested the tomatoes so we didn’t lose our entire crop! It was a full moon out and I was in such a hurry, I ran out in my bare feet! I can still remember how the ground feels as frost is slowly taking it’s hold! We then put them on the deck facing the sun where they were close enough to the house to keep from freezing, but cool enough at night not to rot.
We’d pickle, can, blanch & freeze, stew & fry everything he grew, leaving little to waste. Whatever was unusable was put back into the ground by letting it sit in a compost, then every few years break it down and spread it back into the land. It was from him I cultivated a knowledge of trees, plants, soil & bugs, and I’ve been fascinated ever since!
Now what does growing things have to do with tea Sarah?? Well, everything grown from the earth has a purpose, and it’s quite the journey to explore what each of these can do for mankind. Things grown from the earth basically have their own code which the human body then recognizes and digests accordingly. For example, I had an iron deficiency that iron pills made me sick for, but I was able to cure by eating beets & bok choy!
On that note, I also had a thyroid issue which caused weight problems throughout my childhood and teens, so I looked for a way that didn’t require consuming the entire object, but still get the nutrients I needed. I tried greens, broths, and then my attention turned to tea, which I realized was extremely beneficial for not just me but anyone else who had a problem with their body not processing the food correctly, and them requiring more consumption to get the nutrients they needed. Also, it forces you to drink more, which in turn cleanses the body and helps bring you to a healthier state.
My Aunt got me hooked on a locally handpicked one made by The Jammery, and I noticed the difference between them and the teas you’ll find on your grocery shelves. First off, the ingredients tasted fresher, probably due to them not sitting in warehouses for long periods of time, but secondly, I did some research and realized that most teas on grocery shelves, while delicious, also contained deadly pesticides! This made me super sad, as I love Bengal Spice, but I started limiting the amount consumed as to limit my exposure to these chemicals. I started gathering plants instead of buying teas in store. I also set about trying to recreate Bengal Spice, and another made by Celestial Seasonings called ‘Carrot Cake’ which tastes like it sounds – like carrot cake!
In the process of this recreation, whilst I did make a better tasting Carrot Cake tea, I never recreated Bengal Spice. Instead, while making teas for some of my friends based on their personalities and health needs, I stumbled across a recipe that still knocks the socks off anyone who tries it. It’s been described as ‘Christmas in your Mouth!’ and I’m fairly certain you’ll agree! With my friend’s permission, I named it ‘Latisa Tea‘. Since then, I have branched out and created a few other kinds, all seasonal, and until recently, only gifts to those who have supported me!
I hope you enjoy these as much as I have, I look forward to hearing from you!
– Much Love #Stayawesome , SarahTonin