Foraging softly & our process from tree to tea
Eastern White Pine can live to be 400 years old and grow to a height of 150 feet. All parts of the tree are nontoxic and nutrient rich.
We scout out juvenile pines in the forests of western Maine. Though the big pines are beautiful, Juvenile pines are a manageable harvesting size and both tips and needles are prized for their more delicate flavor vs older needles that can be bitter.
We practice two harvesting methods. Both methods are pretty sticky business, and require a little work with forest scouting, hiking and hauling bins and buckets in the backcountry.
We always harvest sustainably which means we harvest lightly from many different specimens which is more time consuming but we feel good about foraging responsibly to leave the trees happy and healthy.
1. Foraging directly from trees in the backcountry plucking needles into 5 gallon buckets, harvest baskets, and bins.
2. Harvest smaller branches sparingly with permission from land owners. With this technique we bring them back to home base and shuck down the branches for loose needles and pine tips for easy brewing.
The tedious part is shucking the needles.
After shucking we sort the needles and use a sifting tray to remove needle husks, we weigh the needles out to the appropriate sizes and pack them in a poly bag removing all the air for a bit of an air vacuum, we then pack the needles into a coffee bag.
We hand pack and ship our needles within 24 hrs of harvest. We are trying out some new biodegradable mailers ( bags & bio tape) for 1/4 lb and 1/2 lb & concentrate and tincture orders.
If you live in an area where Eastern White Pine grows, you can identify the species by looking at the needle cluster which comes from the base of the stem. Each cluster contains 5 needles as seen here.
We put a-lot of love into the service of foraging fresh for you. We are happy to be using biodegradable packaging where we can. And thought you might enjoy seeing our full process from tree to tea!