One summer afternoon in 2019 the Metolius team piled into our Subaru caravan to visit a local garden that supplies our lavender. We arrived at the farm eight adults strong, with a baby and a puppy in tow. The husband and wife team planted out their property with lavender just for us at Metolius Tea, and we got a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to grow herbs in the High Desert.
Heidi and Bob are locals who offered to grow lavender for us when Amy met Heidi at a local Bed & Breakfast a few years ago. With the help of their friends and family, Heidi and Bob created two dedicated beds for Metolius Tea - planting out about a half an acre of herbs.
Bob explained to us that the two varietals that grow best in central Oregon are Grosso and English Lavender. The Grosso is a hybrid with high heat tolerance and fragrant blooms that attract lots of bees. English Lavender is a cold hardy varietal that has a beautiful gray blue tone and thrives in our sandy soil here in Bend.
Rue, our new shop puppy, sniffed curiously at bugs and plants alike as we explored the property and learned about their drying and processing methods.
At Metolius Tea, we source our ingredients with intention, choosing farmers and vendors who are conscious of their environmental impact and adhere to organic and ethical farming practices.
Though we aren’t able to source black teas and green teas locally - camellia sinensis loves high humidity and lots of rainfall during its growing season - we are always looking to source other ingredients in our blends from closer to home.
We believe that local food networks nourish us all, bringing us closer to the land and closer to each other. Opportunities to connect in our bioregion are valuable to us as a team and help us connect to our community in a deep and meaningful way.
Cheers to Bob and Heidi!