Tea of the Week: Peppermint

Spring is in full swing, which means that the beautiful plants and trees that make the Willamette Valley pretty are finally in bloom. While these plants are gorgeous, if you’re anything like me, they also send you allergies haywire so this week’s tea of the week is Peppermint! Peppermint tea is one of those teas that is good for everything. When it comes to sinus congestion, peppermint naturally contains menthol which acts as a natural decongestant. Peppermint is also an antispasmodic, which means that it can calm your stomach and reduce nausea and stomach pain. Peppermint tea is also good at eliminating bad breath.

If you would like to give our peppermint tea a try, you can head on down to Incahoots and we would be happy to brew you a pot, or you can buy it in bulk for $22 per pound!

 

Plant of the Week: Polka Dot Plant

The Polka Dot plant is a wonderful pop of color into any household and is this week’s Plant of the Week. Originating from Madagascar, this extremely hybridized plant is sure to be an attention grabber anywhere it’s placed! For years this plant was miscategorized until it was finally placed in the Hypthoestes group with over 100 different plants. In their native habitat, they can grow up to three feet tall, but the pot grown variations will usually be much smaller. The polka dot plants that we carry here at Incahoots are part of the splash series which comes in red, rose, pink and white.

These plants will give you the best color in a bright, indirect lighting situation, as darker areas may result in the leaves turning solid green (which kind of defeats the purpose to me at least). The soil of the plant should be kept moist but not soggy in the summer growing season and when winter rolls around you can lessen the water levels. If the plant goes dormant, water can be reduced significantly, resuming regular watering only when new growth emerges. During the growing season, this plant can be given fertilizer monthly.

If you would like to give growing a Polka Dot plant a try, you can head on over to Incahoots and pick one up for $4.99 for a 4in pot!

A Colorful Summer Ahead

The window will soon be closing on your chance to save a whopping 33% on full flats of locally grown annuals – these are the plants that produce flowers all summer long. The usual price for a full flat is $29.94, but if you order now, they can be yours for just $20.00!

The information you need (with pictures) to decide on the best plants for your garden is now right here on our website. Easily browse through the selection of over 100 choices and while you’re there, you can also place your order.

And if you already know what you want, click here for the printable PDF form, fill in how many you need of each and return the form to Incahoots by whatever method you prefer.

Orders for the Plants by the Flat Sale are due by this Saturday, April 21st.

Your flats will be available to pick up at the end of next week.

It’s the Little Things

One thing that keeps life so interesting is that you never know what a day will bring.

We pulled in to the back parking lot the other morning and were greeted by this intriguing display of Cairns (aka – stacks of stones). For millennia, Cairns have been created all over the world, quite often they are used to mark trails. But this is the first instance I’m aware of where anyone may have needed guidance traversing our parking lot.

The someone or someones did quite a neat job with the stacks and we’re not sure whether to attribute them to humans, elves, or the resident 9th Street squirrel. But like most environmental art, it was only temporary and the stones have been returned to their more stable positions.

Tea of the Week: Irish Breakfast

It’s been a very busy week here over at Incahoots, and we ran out of time yesterday to write up a tea of the week, but now that we’re caught up again, this week’s tea of the week is organic Irish Breakfast. This malty and robust tea has a strong Assam component. On levels of strength, Irish breakfast is right in the middle out of all of the breakfast teas, with British being the weakest and Scottish being the strongest. This tea is usually paired with milk and sugar (honey is my personal go to), but some do choose to drink it plain or only with sugar.

In Ireland, most people actually consume Irish breakfast throughout the day instead of just at breakfast, making the name a misnomer. In true Irish nature, you can come on down to Incahoots and we would be happy to brew you a pot at any time, or you can purchase it in bulk for $39 per pound!

Plant of the Week: Birds Nest Fern

The sudden return of cold and rainy weather seems to have also brought along the illnesses commonly associated with it, which is why plant of the week is coming to you guys two days late. Seeing as the near constant gloomy weather in Oregon tends to make the house darker, this week’s plant of the week is the low light loving Birds Nest Fern! When you think of a fern, you probably envision the feathery, airy fronds, but this fern defies all preconceived notions of what ferns look like. Birds nest ferns get their name because the center of the plant resembles a (you guessed it) birds nest. This is accompanied by it’s beautiful wavy leaves and a striking resemblance to seaweed.

Birds nests do well in medium-low, indirect light. The amount of light the plant receives will actually effect how crinkly the leaves turn out. A birds nest that receives more light will have crinklier leaves than one that receives less light, but be aware that too much light will cause the leaves to yellow and die. Like other ferns, ideal conditions would mean that the fern will have moist, but not wet soil but birds nests can actually tolerate soil that dries out from time to time. It also doesn’t need high humidity levels, unlike other ferns, which makes it a pretty forgiving houseplant. Another fun trait for this plant is that in the wild, it is considered an epiphyte, which means that it usually grows off of the sides of things and clings to the host, similar to stag horn ferns and orchids. When you purchase a birds nest fern, it will typically come potted in a plant medium, but it can be affixed to plants and hung on walls!

Now that you know how to care for a Birds Nest Fern, consider picking one up for your own house. You can swing on by Incahoots and pick one up at $9.99 for a 4in or $19.99 for a 6in!

 

If You Haven’t Already Heard…

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (which is a totally inaccurate metaphor to use in an email), I hereby once again present you with the information about our annual Plants by the Flat Sale. Remember, orders are due by April 21st.

The information you need (with pictures) to decide on the best plants for your garden is now right here on our website. Easily browse through the selection of over 100 choices and while you’re there, you can also place your order.

And if you already know what you want, click here for the printable PDF form, fill in how many you need of each and return the form to Incahoots by whatever method you prefer.

Your flats will be available to pick up and plant at the end of April when the rains will have ended, the skies will have cleared, and the birds will chirp in three-part harmony.

Mini BootsWhile the plants, flowers and tea mostly steal the show around here (and deservedly so), be sure to wander through the back of the store next time you are passing through to discover the dizzying assortment of odds and ends, what-nots and do-das that have show-stealing potential of their own. Specifically, these boots are a fun and unique way to welcome spring, and a great place to stick a small bloom or stray dandelion picked from the sidewalk by a small child in your life.

Tea of the Week: Liquid Jade (Matcha)

If you’re up to date with trendy drinks and food, you’ve probably heard of Matcha, as it’s gotten so popular recently that even chain coffee shops have started serving matcha lattes and it’s this week’s tea of the week! This tea is a special kind of green tea. Instead of steeping the individual leaves, you actually consume the entire leaf (minus the steam of course) because they have been ground into a fine powder. The leaves are covered with bamboo mats during the last few weeks of their growth, then picked at a young age and ground up into the matcha powder that you see today. Traditionally it is prepared with about a teaspoon of matcha and a small amount of water, it is then mixed with a bamboo whisk and served. This however is not the only way it can be prepared. It can be used in lattes (my personal favorite), smoothies and even when cooking! Matcha has an almost grass-like flavor to it so it is usually sweetened and is commonly considered an acquired taste because of the umami flavor.

Because matcha isn’t your standard tea, it is much more expensive than regular leaf teas. While the price may be off putting, usually the more expensive matcha’s are the higher quality ones. When looking for matcha, look for one sourced from Japan (we’ll get into that), is a bright green and has a smooth powder (if it’s gritty the leaves are usually older and not as high quality). You’ll want a tea sourced from Japan because of the lead content. Now don’t let that scare you away, a little known fact is that all green teas have lead in them but when you steep it, 90% of the lead content remains in the leaves. With matcha though, you’re consuming the entire leaf which means you’re exposed to more lead. You really shouldn’t consume more than one cup a day and surely don’t give it to your children, but other than that, you should be fine. If you would like to try some matcha, we here at Incahoots would love to make you a Matcha latte or you can buy it in bulk for $100 per pound!

Plant of the Week: Coffee Plant

Did you know that the same plants that grow coffee beans also make great houseplants? That’s right, which means that the coffee plant is this week’s plant of the week! This lovely tree is native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. While many wonder if they’ll be able to harvest coffee beans from their plant, it’s unlikely. The plants take 3-5 years to mature and will only bloom in the best of conditions, after they bloom, you would have hand pollinate the flowers for the berries containing the coffee beans to form. After all this you would likely only have a couple of beans, and probably not enough to brew a whole pot, so it’s better just to enjoy these plants for their beautiful green leaves and hardiness!

Compared to some of the plants we have featured, the coffee plant is very simple and easy for the average household to care for! Coffee plant prefer bright, indirect light so placing them near, but not in a window is ideal. They cannot stand temperatures below freezing and it’s not good for them to stay in areas that are consistently below 65 degrees. Try to avoid placing the plant in a drafty area. When it comes to watering, the coffee plant prefers to have moist, but not soggy soil with moderate-high humidity. This can be achieved by placing the plant on top of a tray filled with pebbles and a little bit of water. Keep in mind that coffee plants can grow up to 6ft in height, so it’s important to provide appropriate space as the plant grows. If you want your plant to stay small, pruning is an option, but it is best to do this in early spring.

If you would like to add a coffee plant to your household, you on come one down to Incahoots and pick up your very own in a 4in pot for $4.99!