There are numerous ways to package dried herbal teas for sale, from tea-themed gift baskets to home spa tea collections. Also, they can be sold as individual live potted plants. These are usually for your customers’ gardens, but some tea herbs can be grown on a windowsill or porch, or even on your customers’ desks at work.
Live potted plants ready to be placed in the customers’ gardens can also be sold in themed packages, such as a collection for a summer iced tea postage stamp garden, or as a collection for the customer’s own gift garden, where they grow tea to harvest and dry for gifts they give to family and friends.
Harvested and dried herbs can be sold bulk as individual plants, or exclusive specialty blends can be created with your home business’s label.
Herbal teas make great products to wrap with other related products into gift baskets, from simple herbal tea samplers to elaborate tea party gift baskets with the inclusion of resale items such as ceramic tea pots and infusers.
Making direct contact with potential customers involves both allowing visitors to your gardens, or selling the herbs off the premises. For visitors, larger tea gardens can become healing sanctuaries themselves, where replicas of Japanese tea gardens or historical European herb gardens can be re-created. In the 18th century, popular coffee houses, which were then considered somewhat rough places where competitive business deals took place, began to give way to high-class tea gardens at the insistence of the ladies. Some of these gardens were almost visions of paradise, with lantern-lit walks, music, dancing, and where exotic landscapes allowed royalty and the common people to intermingle. A well-known tea garden of 1765, Ranelagh Gardens, hosted the nine-year-old Mozart as a performer. No local Mozart to invite? A commercial garden in Washington State hosts a local harpist every Mothers’ Day.
For selling away from home, you can offer to host tea tastings for a fee. Benefits and other gatherings enjoy such services, especially if their people get to meet the actual farmer.
Also, look for a listing of local tea houses. A teahouse the author inquired into even asked for edible flowers along with tea herbs.
Stay safe, and keep potential customers safe. Check into all local regulations on safe harvest and storage, and know what can and can’t be said as far as medicinal claims. These laws change, so make sure your information is recent. For example, St. John’s Wort was reportedly banned in France, while its production continues in other countries. In some cases, you can be allowed to describe health claims if an established research entity has made the claim, and you quote them. The non-profit Herb Research Institute, http://www.Herbs.org (HRI) may be of help in this area (see below). According to the HRI, scientific credibility is essential to bolster consumer confidence in herbs and for the continued growth of the industry. Since its founding in 1983, HRF has served as the central archive of scientific literature on the health effects and safety of botanicals and has developed the world’s most comprehensive collection of clinical trials, pharmacology, toxicology, chemical, historical, and horticultural data on thousands of herbal ingredients. HRF’s current collection consists of more than 300,000 articles.
(c) 2006 Barbara Adams
Micro Eco-Farming: Prospering from Backyard to Small Acreage in Partnership with the Earth (New World Publishing) http://www.MicroEcoFarming.com