Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Alpine Strawberries

I have several alpine strawberry plants growing in the yard, and although I very rarely get to actually eat one of the fruits before a critter takes off with them, I still dedicate space to them in the garden.  I came very near to ripping them out a few years ago before I tried drying the leaves for tea.  The leaf of wild strawberry and alpine strawberry plants are reportedly "good for convalescents and children".  We ran out of these tea leaves months ago, so I am going to try to harvest more this year.  
This is the alpine strawberry.  Note the leaves are shaped differently than the regular strawberry plant pictured below. The fruit is tiny and is said to be good for sunburn, but I have never tried it.
 Regular strawberry.
I snipped one leaf off each plant that was big enough to steal from, and laid them out on an old screen for drying.  It doesn't look like much of a harvest, but if I do it every week or so, hopefully I will have enough leaves to last the winter.

Oh, and the "good for convalescents and children" bit?  I add this leaf to the herbal tea blend every time the boys or feeling not quite right.  It does add its own (quite tasty) flavour to the blend.  I also add it to our iced herbal tea blend when I have enough.

Do you have a favourite herb for your tea blends?  I am always looking for new additions.

Linking up with: Wildcraft Wednesday over at Mind Body and Sole
                      Waste not want not at Poor and Gluten free a new-to-me website that looks quite  interesting
                      From the Farm blog hop #34


  1. I love alpines and have a few in our flower beds. I never thought to use them for tea...great idea!

  2. How interesting. I'm in the alps and here we have wild strawberries growing everywhere, they are so tiny that it's formidable task picking enough to make jam, but I had no idea that the leaves were useful too!
    I treated my boys to a bottle of ice tea this weekend and the oldest one thinks that we can do a better job of making it at home. I like the sound of iced herbal tea, what kind of herbs do you usually use?

    1. Emma: If it's iced tea just for refreshment, we usually use a blend of mint, lemon balm, borage flowers (because they are fun and are said to "gladden the heart"), stevia if we have any left instead of sugar (not too many leaves though, or it makes it way way too sweet), and strawberry leaves. Sometimes the boys make up their own and add dill leaves or lemon thyme. If it's tea because they are not feeling well, then I add echinacea petals and leaves, chamomile, and thyme if they have a fever, raspberry leaves if they have a sore throat. The beauty of it is you can add whatever flavour you want - just check first that they are ok for children.

  3. I have a couple alpine strawberry plants--and have actually tasted the tiny berry. But I have much more lemon balm and have never tried using it for tea. I imagine that you dry the lemon balm first before making tea?

    1. Carol: I have used the lemon balm both fresh and dried. Both are equally good...but we only have fresh for a few months and I can dry enough after that to last me all winter :) The strawberry leaves I have only tried dried.

    2. Natalie: Thank-you for visiting my blog with an answer to my question. I went out and picked a bunch of lemon balm today and have it drying. I like the idea of using it for a sachet.

      Your buttons are lovely!

  4. Thank you for sharing this post on our From the Farm Blog Hop. We are growing Alpine Strawberries for the first time this year. I can't wait to dry the leaves and make tea.

    I just pinned this post to a few of my Pinterest boards. I know that my followers will love learning all about this. I hope that you'll come back and link up again next week.

    Jennifer @1840Farm

  5. I haven't tried strawberry leaves...but I have a ton of them in the garden :) Thanks for sharing this with us on Wildcrafting Wednesday last week!