Canadian tea on July 1 menu at Cowichan Valley’s Teafarm

Victor Vesely and Margit Nellemann are celebrating July 1 by releasing their first estate-grown Canadian tea.

Why not share a sip of tea history this Canada Day?

Victor Vesely and Margit Nellemann, who dared to turn their North Cowichan acreage into Canada’s only working tea farm, are celebrating July 1 by releasing their first estate-grown Canadian tea.

After years of hopeful work at Teafarm, Vesely is excited about it.

“The tradition of tea is closely tied to place: the region, the mountain, the slope. This tea is an authentic expression of the land, soil and climate of our farm. It is the beginning of a Canadian terroir of tea,” he said.

Teafarm is an 11-acre organic farm, teashop and gallery, located on Richards Trail.

As its owners have worked towards presenting home-grown tea, they have been importing and selling premium organic and biodynamic loose teas from around the world, as well as creating artful tea blends, and ceramic teaware.

The dream of a Canadian-grown tea began as an experiment in 2010 when they planted 200 Camellia sinensis seedlings on the south-facing slopes of the farm. The young plants survived the first deep freeze of winter, and have since thrived in the local climate. Another 400 plants were added in 2014 and 200 more in 2015.

After six years of work and waiting, it’s now time for “Tree Frog Green – Spring Harvest,” a premium green tea made from the leaves and buds of the first spring flush.

In recognition of this unique and historic offering, this initial release will be sold in limited edition commemorative clay containers hand built by Nellemann, a ceramic artist.

“There is an intimate relationship between tea and the cups and pots it is served in that spans thousands of years,” she explained. “These vessels are true collector’s pieces to celebrate the occasion.”

Festivities will continue July 1, 2 and 3 at the farm.

Just Posted

Robert's column
Robert Barron column: Skyrocketing house prices a tragedy

North Cowichan councillor Rosalie Sawrie brought an interesting perspective to a discussion… Continue reading

Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Investing in soaker hoses is money well-spent

No-till gardening has a distinct advantage during drought

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

Cute but fierce! Timber moonlights as an attack kitty. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Beware of Mr. Bite, the midnight attacker

Last week, in the middle of the night, I was awoken by… Continue reading

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read