Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
Tea maker Rowan Glen has been helping sooth lockdown stresses from south of Scotland across the UK and as far away as America.
Online sales of Rowan’s home-blended Sea Tea, made on Kerrera, have spiked during the pandemic with beverage-drinkers seeking a sip of island life solace.
Orders have winged their way to several states in the US and across Europe, including Germany and the Sea Tea has a big following in the Central Belt and down in England.
‘I think at a time when people could not get away, they just wanted a taste of somewhere they remembered visiting or would like to visit,’ said Rowan, who lives on the family-run Ardentrive Farm.
It was a project while on a horticultural course at Argyll College that Rowan first struck on the idea of making her own herbal teas, spending some time during her studies on Liz Gibson’s tea croft on Mull.
‘We had to design a garden and I decided to do one based on what you could make teas with,’ she explained.
Wild thyme, nettles and other organic botanicals are among the ingredients she forages as well as gorse, rose petals and abundant dulce seaweed with plans in the New Year to build a new polytunnel and bigger growing beds to harvest more Kerrera produce for her range.
News to see if she can access Highlands and Islands Enterprise funding is awaited for the commercial polytunnel, she says.
With six blends of tea in the pot so far, there are lots more recipes to try out and test on her loyal band of tea tasters made up of family and friends on stand-by to give the thumbs up or down.
‘People of the Highlands and islands used wild botanicals in teas and remedies for thousands of years before black tea hit our shores. I love that herbal tea is growing in popularity again and I’m excited for us to reconnect with our native plants,’ she said.
Rowan has also come up with an exclusive new blend of tea being sold as part of a crowdfunding campaign to help turn the island’s former school into a community centre. Go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/kerrera-old-school to find out more.
Another project on the horizon to bring a sense of calm to tea drinkers is a soothing night time blend.
‘There is a lot of people who are having trouble sleeping right now, so I’d like to come up with something to soothe them at bedtime. I’ve got lots of ideas – it’s going to be an exciting year ahead,’ added Rowan, who delegates the label designs for her tins to her graphic design partner.
Caption: Time for tea: Rowan Glen with son Ferris and partner Robert Wright. NO_T49-Kerreratea