Our tea plant sales are going rather briskly.  I invite tea plant customers to come see us at the farm during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas as this is the best time to move evergreens.  This gives the new seedings time to get established before facing the heat of summer.  I have been scheduling folks during this past year for these time slots and people that are serious about wanting tea bushes and are showing up on time.

As I do not mail plants around the country, customers have to come here and pick them up.  This year I have had folks from as far away as Missouri to come for plants.  Most are closer by.  We now have had several cancelations, “We just cant make the trip at this time,” is what I have heard several times.  So, if you have always dreamed about being a tea farmer plucking on waist high tea bushes on the side of a terraced mountain side, here is your chance!  I have lots of one and two year seedlings ready to go with their bags packed.  Call, email, or text me for an appointment.

What we do when you arrive is first, as always, you get a cup of hot, freshly brewed tea.  Then I give you the sometimes hour long class on how to successfully get your new plants established.  There is a real learning curve to tea growing.  It is not clean row agriculture and they many  not be good with your peach and apple trees.   It is more like forestry that gardening. We describe soil conditions, light, covers, water, pest, and nutrients needed.  We then walk out and look at the different ways we have planted plants and how we prune and maintain them.  If the customer is wanting maybe 50 or so, we pull them up here at the farm.  If the customer is wanting hundreds, and most do, we go to my older farm twelve miles away where the bushes are 30 feet high and we only produce plants there.  One customer wanted 2000 plants which I sold her for a dollar each (yes, an amazing $1 each!) then gave her almost that many more for free.  I am generous like that.

These bushes at my old farm are  from the original plants I recovered from the Lipton tea experiment done here in the 1970’s.   The seedlings we pull up there are bare rooted, have a pedigree and are called the F2 generation.   Universities and distributors are calling them “Fairhope Select,” but I did not name them that.  That area that was my tea farm before I moved here 34 years ago has been my hot bed for plant production for several years now.  We had a hurricane two years that has effected the area.  Behind the first row of original plants there were so many large live oaks down that half the area still looks like a beaver dam with seedling production there cut in half.  Also, the folks who keep the yard there love to weedeat tea plants.  So what is going to happen is those F1 plants are going to sharply go up in price.  Get them now at the bargain basement price.  Like Janis Joplin said, “Get it while you can!”