The MAC Band has another bottle drive coming up this Saturday, March 14th. Please bring your returnable bottles and cans to the high school any time between 10 a.m. and noon (corner of 17th and Hembree Streets). Your donations go a long way in helping support all the band activities at McMinnville High School. Thanks!
On Wednesday morning, Janet and I decided there was no point in staying in bed and sleeping any later than 4:30 a.m., so we jumped in the van and hit the road to the Portland Flower Market. For this trip we were focused on finding houseplants. There are new local growers at the market and the racks of indoor plants were fun to explore.
We found lots of favorites that we haven’t seen in quite awhile and discovered some brand new varieties. The ones that caught my eye are the Nepenthes (Monkey Cup Plants), Euphorbia Flanaganii (Medusa’s Head), and the gorgeous new pinkish Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreens).
If you are on the search for something a little different, or just a dependable old favorite, stop by soon and see what’s in.
___The shamrock supply has been refreshed and you’ll find plenty of these lucky little plants for all your St. Patrick’s Day needs.
___Garden Seed racks from both Renee’s Garden and Ed Hume are now here.
___Calendars are now on sale at 70% off!
___Thursday, March 12th is Plant a Flower Day. There’s not much information to be found about this holiday and even the date is suspect, but it’s a nice reminder to get out and start gardening.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, our thoughts turn to Ireland and for tea drinkers, that means a cuppa strong Irish Breakfast Tea.
Here are 2 options:
If you like the steeping simplicity of tea bags, Lucky Irish Breakfast is the way to go. This Republic of Tea blend is deep, dark, and delightful. A traditional blend of Assam (India) and high-grown Ceylon (Sri Lanka) leaves. This hearty brew has a malty character, brisk finish and a rich color.
For those who prefer their tea loose, you’ll find Irish Breakfast from Metropolitan Tea in the bulk tea section. This is a stout and robust blend of February Kenya BP1 and 2nd flush Assam. Bright and very full bodied with a superb coppery color.
Concerned about the caffeine level of Irish Breakfast teas? Remember that black tea has less than half the amount of caffeine per cup than a similar-sized cup of coffee. And if enjoyed without milk or sugar, it has zero calories.
Fun Fact: The people of Ireland drink more tea per capita than any other population on Earth. In fact, your average Irish citizen drinks about 6 cups per day. What’s more, the cups they drink are so strong that you could almost stand a spoon upright in them.
With a name like Calico Kitten, how could this plant be anything but adorable? This trailing succulent is a member of the jade family and will catch your eye with its colorful, heart-shaped leaves in shades of rose, pink, cream and green. The red stems will reach a length of about 6 inches. It’s a bit too cold to grow it outside year round in our area, but it adds great color to indoor hanging baskets or containers. Needs bright light indoors and only occasional watering.
This smoky tea is created by withering the leaves over fires of pine or cypress wood. After pan-frying and rolling, they are pressed into wooden barrels and covered with cloth to oxidize until they give off a pleasant fragrance. The leaves are fired again and rolled into taut strips. Then they are placed in bamboo baskets and hung on wooden racks over smoking pine fires to dry and absorb the smoke flavor. When finished, they are thick, glossy black strips, and produce a dark red beverage with a unique aroma and taste.
One of the things I really enjoy about tea is that like superheros, many teas have origin stories – the majority of which have no documentation to back them up. Lapsang Souchong has more than its share of stories and I’m working on making up a few more – just for fun.
Here’s one that I didn’t make up: Legend claims that the smoking process was discovered by accident. During the Qing dynasty, an army unit passing through Xingcun (Star Village)* camped in a tea factory filled with fresh leaves awaiting processing. When the soldiers left and the workers could get back into the premises, they realized that it was too late to dry the leaves in the usual way to arrive at the market in time. So they lit open fires of pinewood to hasten the drying. Not only did the tea reach the market in time, but the smoked pine flavor created a sensation!
There are conflicting opinions about whether to add milk and sugar to this tea (sometimes even printed on the same label). My preference is to enjoy it all by itself, but I encourage you to try it both ways and form your own opinion.
*Not to be confused with Star City – the home of the Green Arrow.
New stickers have just arrived and from not very far down the street. These original stickers are designed by a happy customer of Incahoots who is also a first-year art student at Linfield. They are presently located on the front counter by the essential oils, be sure to check them out next time you’re in.
As vinyl stickers continue to pop up on flat surfaces everywhere you look, of course we now have a clever little card company that has combined both sticker and card in one neat package.
Night Owl Paper Goods features fun designs for all ages, with a sticker on the front ready to peel off and apply to your favorite device, travel mug, mode of transportation, etc. Thick, durable vinyl is weather proof and dishwasher safe, meaning that even if you drop this card in a muddy puddle – the recipient will still enjoy it!
Ficus lyrata, more commonly known as fiddle-leaf fig, is native to tropical western and central Africa. In its native habitat, it’s a broadleaf evergreen tree that may grow to 60-100’ tall and 30-60′ wide. When you bring it indoors, it will politely stay in the 2-10′ range. This is one of the most popular houseplants with its large, lyre-shaped, dark green leaves (to 18” long) which resemble the shape of a fiddle. In its native habitat, globular figs (to 1.25” diameter) appear solitary or in pairs on mature trees, but fruit is rarely seen on plants outside of the native habitat.
Its botanical name refers to the lyrate shape of the leaf that suggests the shape of a lyre (and that’s the truth).
This low maintenance plant does great in bright indirect light or part shade with protection from afternoon sun. Water regularly during the growing season and be careful to avoid overwatering.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day! Mayana gourmet chocolates are both beautiful and scrumptious. Handmade in small batches by a Top Ten Chocolatier award-winning husband & wife team, this salted caramel gift set is the perfect compliment to any flower delivery, or makes a sweet gift all by itself.
You can also share the love with a mini Pride Bar. Featuring salted peanut caramel, peanut butter nougat, and dark chocolate, all topped with rainbow sprinkles – for a sweet “thinking of you” to brighten anyone’s day.