a friend and I adventured to shepherd’s cross, a lamb farm in claremore, oklahoma. along with sheep, they have the most wonderful garden with a variety of vegetables, herbs and plants. in the garden a placard is posted beside each one giving a scriptural reference to God’s creation.  we were treated to taste the most wonderful grapes right off the vine.  our tour guide also gave us mint(herb) leaves to taste and told us how to make tea. so, i decided to give it a try.  i have often picked mint leaves from my “small” garden to put in water or in my tea; but I never knew I could brew tea straight from my yard.  i pulled several recipes from the internet and was pleasantly surprised with delicious tea that even looks like tea…..don’t know what i expected???  i looked up nutritional benefits(livestrong.com) of mint tea to make sure it wasn’t just a fun idea.  WOW—mint is of great value. some of  its benefits include relief from hiccups,  bad breath, irritable bowel syndrome, upset stomach, intestinal issues and heart burn.   it also cleanses the stomach, clears up skin disorders such as acne, reduces skin irritations, eliminates toxins from the body and is a very good cleanser for the blood.  i read that peppermint tea is touted to boost  mental performance and promote focus…..i will definitely continue this new-found treat!  menthol in a hot cup of herbal tea can help loosen congestion and relieve coughing associated with colds and allergies. according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint tea thins the mucus and acts as an expectorant to break up coughs, and can also relieve dry cough and sore throat. 
i also found strong caution:  Do not grow Pennyroyal because it is an abortificant and can cause liver damage if ingested. this mint variety is particularly dangerous if a woman has an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy that requires immediate surgery.  mint plants, for those people who are not pregnant or nursing a baby, have vitamins and minerals such as C, A, B-6, folate, iron, zinc, niacin, calcium and manganese.

while at the farm we also learned how to cart wool, drop spindle the wool into yarn and use a spinning wheel.  that was all pretty cool.  actually the weather wasn’t too bad, not like the 110 degree days we survived in july. i was amazed their garden actually had more green than brown color to it.  check out shepherds cross.  it was a great adventure. we need to go back and see the lambs—-somehow we got away without even seeing one——i know they were there and during the right season people get to see the sheep sheared. 

my recipe for mint tea:  i pulled several stalks of mint from my backyard  and cleaned with cold water and peroxide. i boiled water, enough to cover my leaves.  use boiling water because it removes more oil from leaves than hot water can remove. when water comes to a boil i poured it over the leaves, covered it and let it seep for 10 minutes(5 is enough).  i added honey or demerara sugar(less refined than traditional sugars).  i also added enough water to make a pitcher of tea.  i judged by taste and color.  i also like to put the vines in the pitcher—makes a pretty serving.

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