During this time, there have been several varietals grown experimentally. None have yet proven to make the transition to our soil and climate.
On one of our unusually warm February days, I was there for the arrival of four new varietals. The hill that will eventually become a field of tea was green and glistening in the bright sun. Rabbits skittered across the dirt road leading between the main buildings and the greenhouse. Three hundred bare-root tea plants had just arrived and needed to be planted immediately in a specially prepared tray in the greenhouse where they could be closely supervised.
Each of them was planted by hand in soil that had been blended and amended to meet the critical PH balance needed by tea. Roy took the day off from slaving over a hot tea kettle to get his hands in the dirt.
Every day brings us a little closer to seeing Roy's dream of a demonstration tea garden here in Northern California come true!