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photos: erin boyle/readingmytealeaves.com

Recently, a smart, lovely article by blogger Erin Boyle on Urban Foraging made a connection that we knew but were somehow too tired or blocked to make: that the stunningly fragrant linden trees in bloom in many parts of the country (and in New York City) are the very same ingredient used for an age-old tisane, or calming teapersonalized housewarming gifts, served commonly in France. Its leaves and blossoms can be picked judiciously without harming the tree, and easily dried to make an herb tea to have on hand all year.

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Erin told the story of getting up the courage to actually “;forage”; some linden in her Brooklyn neighborhood,and posted compelling photos of the process. ?Her post was a bonk-on-the head for us. While walking through a nearby Manhattan park the other evening, and realizing that we were, in fact, in a small forest of linden like the ones we’;d experienced in France years before –; and even though we’;d foraged many times in the city and out –; we hadn’;t taken it a step farther to realize we could pick some linden to make that stunning tea.

The lesson for us: that there is so much possibility right in front of us, AND we rely on others –; whether friends or blogs or random info –; to point the way.

Inspired by Erin’;s post, we’;d looked into linden. You’;ll find basic info here, including where linden commonly grows across the country (Zone 3).

This short video gives the basics of identifying and foraging linden (video link here):

As for drying it, our how-to on drying fresh Lemon Verbena can be applied to linden. Or check out Erin’;s method. A little jar of handpicked and dried linden tea would make a fine gift.

Linden tea is lovely in the afternoon, or at the end of a dinner party.?To brew the tisane, crumble leaves in a heated tea pot. (I figure a small handful of whole leaves per cup – maybe 2 to 4 tablespoons, but you should fool around with amounts). Add boiling water and steep until it is the strength you like. Strain.

via The Equals Record; Erin Boyle’;s blog is Reading My Tea Leaves

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