Sad News Today from Beverly at the Scottish Tea Factory at Comrie Croft
‘Dear Tea Club Folk/Tea Friends,
I hope that you are all doing well in these very strange and difficult times? The weather has been lovely for us humans over the last couple of months but not so great for tea plants who like a minimum of 1200mm water per year to survive!
Obviously, I haven’t been able to run courses so far and unfortunately have lost all my consultancy work this year as well however, I have been busy at the tea factory (with a lot of help from my husband Neil) creating a rainfall catchment and irrigation system and have created a few new raised beds to squeeze in some more plants. The tea seed I have had lurking in my fridge for several years are all in seed trays and surprisingly quite a few are showing signs of life! My next job in a few weeks will be to start planting those out!
The irrigation system is a godsend and has really given me the final piece of proof that without permanent access to water, I just can’t keep the plants down the hill alive…despite every effort over the past few years attempting to water between 5-6am using a series of hosepipes and watering cans when we could access the water. The photos below were taken in the same day and show the difference it makes!
The first photo below (left) is a plant at the factory showing good growth, the other one below (right) is the BEST plant down the hill showing almost zero growth and really struggling with very dried out leaves.
don’t think the remaining plants down the hill will survive the next winter especially if we continue with low levels of rain so I have sadly decided to rescue a few and abandon the rest and hand back the land to Tomnaha.
If any of you would like a few new plants for free you would be very welcome to come and rescue them. Tea plants don’t like to be moved but with TLC, they may survive. If you would like some free plants, please email me. Due to covid, here’s the system:
By appointment ONLY:
1. Meet me at the tea factory
2. I will show you the tea plant area and leave you to dig up plants
3. You will need to bring a spade and carrier bags or plastic trugs to put the plants in. I also suggest you wear gardening gloves.
4. When you plant them, if possible put some ericaceous compost around the roots and water them in daily for a week and every other day the following week. Tea plants need a min of a couple of litres of water each per week on an ongoing basis over summer. They need to be planted in a spot sheltered from wind and can tolerate some shade. You may need to give them a bit of protection for their first couple of winters.
There are a fair few plants left so depending on how many folk want them you should be able to take up to 5 plants, maybe more. Please feel free to tell any friends who may be interested to contact me.
I have time available next Sunday afternoon or the following weekend to meet folk at the factory and show you the plants. Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
to make an appointment.
Hoping that a few of you may be interested in rescuing a few plants!
All the best,
Tea Consultant and Tea Maker
The Scottish Tea Factory
Artisan Rolling, Roasting and Tasting