Tuesday, July 31, 2018

For the Bees

At the Michigan State University Gardens, we came across this lovely exhibit on nesting for the bees. Bees are so critical to pollination and they need our help!

I loved the simplicity of some of these Bee Houses.  'Course here in Pennsylvania we would need to paint it blue and white! 

Friday, July 27, 2018

19th Century Chinese Tea Pots

How fun to stumble upon a teapot display at the Michigan State Museum of Science and Culture. A teapot was used to show that culture is adaptive. Teapots are dynamic and reflect the constant change in cultures. They are symbolic; the preparation, service, consumption of tea all represent symbolic functions. Teapots are diverse. While tea is consumed all over the world there are many differences in the type of tea used, how it is prepared, the equipment used and its social functions. 
Enjoy these dynamic, symbolic, and diverse teapots from the display.
Porcelain double chamber tea pot

Copper and Enamel Tea Pot

Porcelain, late 18th C., blue and yellow enameling in Nepali style

Carved red lacquer Teapot with figures in relief

Unglazed clay Teapot in the shape of a finger citron

Crystal, 18th Century Agate Teapot with carved loose rings

18th Century Jade Teapot

Pewter Teapot, with copper cover of woven basketry design

Pewter Teapot, coconut shell exterior, carved in relief

Monday, July 23, 2018

1,000,000 Tea Tags

Ever wonder what One Million Tea Tags would look like?  Mrs. Miller's class at Good Shepard School began collecting tea tags years and years ago to get to 1 million.  And they achieved this milestone! 

When they reached one million, they thought
Guinness Book of World Records. Guinness, however, wanted one million unique tea tags and since there were duplicates in the pile, sadly they did not qualify. 

So Mr. Miller set out to organize the tea tags and see just how many unique tags they had. He created a huge notebook with pages and pages and more pages of tea tags organized and sorted by company, flavor, colors of tea tags, quotes on the tea tags and however else he could sort and organize. This job took another two years.
Finally, during the Arts Night at Good Shepard School, there was an official, supervised, videotaped, authenticated counting of the individual tea tags to submit to Guinness World Record.

Susanna was part of the official counting process.  The total number of individual and unique tea tags was 9,217.  We have yet to hear back from Guinness. We will keep you posted. We are happy to report that the One Million Tea Tags will be on display at the Pennsylvania Tea Festival, Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29, 2018.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mad Hatter Tea Party - Menu

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The Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland provided a magical moment in the gardens of The Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances this past week. They delighted young and old with their mad antics and youthful energy. We were pleased to welcome My Fantasy Party  to join us as hosts of this special summer event.

The menu included a nod to the colorful, wild, and wacky world of Wonderland. Our guests were offered Rosemary Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, and assorted hot tea. After the beverages, we offered Alice's Fresh Fruit Cup Full of Fruit, garnished with edible flower blossoms, pretty little blue borage blossoms.

The three tiered tray included an assortment of sandwiches, such as Dodo's Cucumber Round on Tomato Basil Bread, The Most Curious Square Egg with Parsley Butter Sandwich, Caterpillar's Favorite Festive Floral Sandwich, Ready for the Croquet Game Garden Veggie Tart, and (not pictured) Queen of Heart Strawberry Tarts, Did Someone Say Peanut Butter and Jelly?
 Tweedledee's English Cream Scones were placed on the middle tier alongside Tweedledum's Sweet Cream and Jelly and spreaders.
The top tier featured desserts, including Festive Funfetti Cookies, Chocolate 'Eat Me' Cakes, and a 'too cute to eat' Chocolate Cherry Dormouse.

"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. 
"I've had nothing yet, " Alice replied, in an offended tone, "so I can't take more." 
"You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter; "It's very easy to take more than nothing."

A fun time was had by all!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Mad Hatter Tea Party

Moms, dads, grandparents, and kids of all ages spent a summer morning in Wonderland this week. The gardens and pavilion behind The Rosemary House set the scene for this fun day. The weather was simply perfect, and enthusiasm was high for a festive event. Susanna set the scene with colorful tablecloths, tea party signs going this way and that way, tea cups hanging from the rafters, and even a Cheshire cat grin with out the cat. While guests enjoyed an Afternoon Tea (we'll share the menu tomorrow), the high point of the day was celebrated with the arrival of Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter.

These two delightful characters captured the attention of the audience and delighted with their hilarious banter and mad antics. My Fantasy Party characters filled their role to perfection, reading stories, and playing games in the garden, hunting for the Dormouse, and simply celebrating a very merry unbirthday party for everyone. With a logo of 'creating magical moments everyday', they certainly did that on this afternoon in Wonderland.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Mississippi Queen, Green Tea

We are so fortunate to have several tea gardens in the United States. The most familiar, and perhaps oldest is the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, SC known for its American Classic tea. But lately, tea plantations are sprouting forth and one of the newer tea gardens is the Great Mississippi Tea Company in Brookhaven, MS. Having planted hundreds of tea seedlings in 2014, they bill themselves as pioneers in artisanal U.S. Farm-to-table teas. You can follow their tea growing adventure on their facebook page as well, watching the planting, plucking, harvesting processes through pictures and stories, success and occasional failures.
Their yield is limited, and offered through The Cultured Cup out of Dallas, TX, Expect to pay a premium price for this quality USA grown tea and coupled with postage charges makes it a specialty treat. It was exciting to receive this 100% Mississippi hand-plucked and processed green tea. I purchased some from their autumnal harvest last fall. The dry leaf, above, was wiry and assorted sizes.

 Brewed, according to the instruction on the package (4 heaping teaspoons, 8 oz. water, 195 degrees, and 3.5 minutes steeping time), it yields a delightful cup of American grown tea. The flavor notes are touted to be 'savory notes of edamame, spring peas, and southern fried okra. A taste of Mississippi.' Not sure I detected the fried okra, but it was an enjoyable cup, one to be savored.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Herbal Books by Bertha

Bertha P. Reppert, our mother and the founder of The Rosemary House was a prolific writer. She wrote numerous articles for many magazines, a featured article in the New York Times about Saffron, and a weekly article on herbs for the small local paper.

Her first book, A Heritage of Herbs, was her bicentennial project and focuses on Native Herbs.  She was way ahead of her time on the concept of growing Native plants.

Next came Herbs with Confidence. This award wining book is a primer on growing herbs. It opens with the basic requirements for herb gardening and the use of herbs, while the back of the book features individual monographs on each culinary herb with how to grow it, how to use it and a recipe and craft for each herb. 

Growing your Herb Business was published by Storey Publications and is an encouraging "How-To" book for opening your shop, farm stand or booth. Since it was written pre-internet, it does not include info on web marketing. However, it is still considered a "must read" for those who aspire to own a little brick and mortar shop or stand.

The Brides Herbal features many creative ideas for weddings and showers with a romantic, sentimental herbal theme. Favors, Decorations, Bouquets and Recipes complete this fun book.

Mrs Reppert's TwelveMonth Herbal is a favorite of all who read it. Written as a daily journal of herb musings, uses, recipes, facts, lore and trivia this book can be picked up and read over and over.  Many folks tell us they add some of there special herb moments to each of the pages. It is a lovely inspiring herbal that can be picked up and enjoyed starting with any page of the book!
Thanks Mom, for this great legacy of herbal knowledge! 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Mulberry Creek Herb Farm

It is always fun for us to visit other Herb Farms and Herb Shops. On a recent trip to Michigan, we stopped at Mulberry Creek Herb Farm . It was a day that they were scheduled to be closed so we fully anticipated just viewing the farm from outside the gates. Happily, Karen and Mark were there watering and cleaning up from their spring Fairy Festival Weekend so we were invited in. I am so pleased we got to take a peak in these super clean green houses as they are gorgeous and it is clear that Mulberry Creek can grow plants!
Rosemary Trees

Bonsai Trees

This wonderful collection of Scented Geraniums were all well labeled with their name and use and even a recipe or two.
Lots of Fairy Gardens as we were visiting a day after the festival.

                                                 The tires are both colorful and functional!
Love this garden located in Huron, OH with all its special touches. So glad we were able to visit!