LauraLynn Jansen

Little Green Teachers

Several decades ago I found myself thrown into a situation where my mission became to learn about anything that would assist me in combating the tumor growing in my chest and the cancer cells making their way through my upper lymph glands.


There was no inter-net so I read books. My number one go-to-book was The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra. My aunt Faith, who studied with Rosemary in the 1970s, brought me to one of the only herbal shops that existed in the 1980s, Rosemary’s Garden. It was a steep learning curve, however I was determined.

A year after diagnosis I finished all my allopathic care for cancer supplemented by herbals remedies and a wide range of other complimentary care practices. Soon after finishing chemotherapy and radiation I stumbled upon an herbal teacher/farmer, Shatoiya Jones (now De La Tour). She had started Dry Creek Herb Farm in Auburn, CA. I joined her staff where I gave tours, tended the gardens, assisted folks in the shop (see picture) and learned to make a slue of herbal concoctions. I added to my favorite list The New Age Herbalist.  Often I slept in an old Studebaker truck camper shell out in the back acreage of the fields. I fell asleep to the sounds of the Sierra foothills, howling coyotes, and awoken by wild turkeys pecking around my shell home. Sleeping among the fields of the plants created a special understanding of their rhythms from sun up to sun down…. when their flowers opened, how dew collected on their leaves overnight tasted, and their scents as they remained in contact with the earth.


Firsthand experiences in harvesting, wild-crafting and using herbs to drink, eat and make into skin care were my daily chores. I am grateful for the modern day resurgence of teas. The little green teachers, as I have always called them, can be used in so many ways. Here is a simple brewing chart to start your journey. Playing with the steep-ige time allows one to begin to discern your tea palette.


Water Temperature
Steep Time

Green Tea
150 to 160 degrees
1 to 3 minutes
1 t. to 8ozs. water

White Tea
180 degrees F.
4 to 8 minutes
1 t. to 8ozs. water

Oolong Tea
190 degrees F.
1 to 8 minutes
1 t. to 8ozs. water

Black Tea
rolling boil
3 to 10 minutes
1 t. to 8ozs. water

Herbal (tisanes), Rooibos (leaves, flowers)
rolling boil
Infusion: 5 to 10 minutes, keeping a cover over the cup keeps the essential oils, vitamins & enzymes in the tea (instead of escaping in the steam).                     15 minutes for a stronger version.
1 – 3 T. dried herb (less for fresh)/1 C. water

Herbal (roots, berries, barks & seeds)
rolling boil
Decoction: Slowly heat the water with herb parts in the water, allow to simmer a minimum of 20 minutes and up to 45.
3 T. dried herb parts w/ 1 qt. water.


Posted in Blog, farm, herbs, tea on February 13, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , ,

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