Make it Monday: Compost Tea

Make it Monday

No, mama, the tea isn’t for you, it’s for your garden! If you want to give your plants a little boost and you don’t have MiracleGro (snort), you’ll only have to wait a week for this liquid gold! This works on indoor OR outdoor plants and it’s perfect for city dwellers with no room for a compost pile.

She recommends eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags; I would also add a banana peel for potassium. In fact, I just toss banana peels onto my plants regularly; they turn black quickly, but don’t smell bad or attract pests.

How to make compost tea

Give it a try!

Vegetable gardening in the tropics

These are fairly thorough books on vegetable gardening in the tropics…not necessarily an easy topic to find information on. Tropical Permaculture has also been a helpful website for me.

Happy growing, mamas!

How to make ginger tea 

Good news, mamas–my son and I are sick! I am currently on the couch, using our precious battery power to watch Mythbusters, trying to keep my youngest from crushing her brother with her undying love and concern. 

And why is this good news? 

Because I made ginger tea…and now you can make ginger tea the next time you or your kiddos are sick. 

In most tropical and sub-tropical  climates, ginger grows pretty well. If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out–it’s essential in many Asian cuisines, and it has a sweet, spicy flavor. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and very good for your digestion and warding off colds. I was first told this by an El Saldavorian lady I knew in Vancouver, and it’s what saved me my first year of teaching when I caught all the germs in the universe.

The first picture is what one variety looks like while growing. Other varieties have red flowers…mine’s never flowered, unfortunately. I literally soaked a piece of ginger I bought at the grocery store overnight and put it in the ground. It took a long time to sprout, but then it went to town. Pictured here is the root, which is the part we want to make tea with. 

Wash off your root (if it’s store-bought, you will also want to peel it), cut it into thin slices, and stick it on the stove with at least four cups of water–more is good, as a lot tends to boil off. Bring it to a boil, then simmer until the water turns a golden color, about 20 minutes.

You can just drink it straight with honey and lemon…but for my kids, I like to let it go cold (well, room temperature anyway…) and then put it in a smoothie. 

For the smoothie, freeze an ice cube tray of juice (peach and mango are good). Then pop the frozen juice in a blender with a frozen banana, cut up, and 1/2 cup of cold tea. They’ll never taste it, and it’s more soothing to a sore throat in hot weather, in my opinion. I find it sweet enough without honey, but some might not. 

As a side note, in the course of writing this post, I have given directions, received a delivery, foiled the attempts of a rat to enter my kitchen by the window, washed off the face of the toddler who found the Vaporub, returned my husband’s backup glasses to their care after removing them from the toddler’s face, filled the water filter, and made snacks for my kids…so much for sitting on the couch. Also, I have named the rat Celebrity, for he will soon be dead. 

Mamas, I know you sometimes feel the weight of a life that is so not-normal, but just know that there’s someone in Haiti who’s praying for you, who gets your struggles, who’s doing not-normal with you. 

You’ve got this, mamas.