Since moving up north I’ve spent more time out in nature and I feel a stronger connection to it now than ever before. I love to venture out to relax, explore and do photography. I also feel a growing interest for foraging. I love learning about what’s available out there and how to use it.
Foraging is a skill forgotten by most of us, as we’ve moved in to a digital era we have lost our connection with nature. I want to find that connection again, make it stronger. I also hope to inspire you to do the same. I recently learned that one of the plants I often stop to take pictures of is not just pretty, but actually edible: heather!
Dried heather tea is something a lot of people make so when I was out picking blueberries the other day I decided to gather some heather as well, to bring home and dry to make wild heather tea.
When being out foraging in nature, remember to leave everything better than you found it. Don’t leave trash around, and if you happen to find traces of others – bring it home with you. Gather with care too, never take to much from one spot or plant!
Heather has been used for many things throught the years. The roots were used to make baskets and the green shoots gave a beautiful yellow color to fabric and yarn. The sticks were used to make brooms. Poor people who did not have any straw used heather for their pillows and mattresses.– source, Dags att plocka
Dried heather tea
As an advocate for slow living and trying to break free from the norms of working too much, I feel walking in the forest foraging berries and plants is a nice contrast to it all. Then you get to come home and sit on the porch, your balcony or by the kitchen table with a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage) preparing what you’ve gathered.
These days heather is mostly used as tea, and it is said to be good for your kidneys, help with urinary tract infections and it has a soothing, calming effect.
What to use
You can use both fresh and dried parts and both the leaves, flowers and stalks. The dried flowers keep their color nicely and it looks beautiful in tea. I hung my heather in bouquets and after a few days they felt dry enough. I took off all the flowers and leaves and placed in a jar and just having it displayed on a shelf is beautiful. It’s good to try and store it dark though as sunlight will make it loose it’s color over time.
As always, seeing what I’ve gathered outdoors make me feel richer than ever.
Putting flavours into words is difficult for me, but I’d say the tea tastes floral and sweet. I like it and since I often have a hard time falling asleep I plan to try making this tea a part of my evening routine while winding down with a book or some writing.
Hopefully it will help me sleep better, either way enjoying a cup of wild heather tea is a lovely, calming experience that I enjoy very much. It feels very special and tastes better when I know where it came from, and that I gathered and made it myself.
Have you made tea from plants or herbs gathered in nature? I’d love to hear about it!