For thousands of years, gardeners have saved and stored their own plants to make tea. Tea can be made from many common plants like mint, chamomile, lavender and sage. The process is very simple and rewarding. No need to buy herbal tea when you can grow and make your own!
Last November, Bellaire students harvested mint from the school garden and placed the stems and leaves in paper bags to dry. They stored them in a cool, dry location over the winter. This week they removed the mint from the paper bags and carefully pulled all the leaves from the stems. The room filled with the sweet minty aroma of the essential oils which are released from the leaves. Each student collected approximately one cup of leaves, then crushed them gently between their fingers. This sensory experience was notable, with many students stating that the smell reminded them of mint candy, gum & ice cream. As we worked, we discussed the many uses for plants in our culture, our connection to them, and how we can't survive without them!
Next, each student filled small paper pouches with the dried mint and made tea bags to take home and drink with family & friends. Meanwhile, they boiled water and made a large pot of mint tea to enjoy after our hard work!
Northeast Metro 916 is one of three intermediate school districts in Minnesota, serving approximately 4,000 students through shared programming that includes career and technical education, special education services, area learning centers and elementary education.