Just add water

Just add water

tea for one

tea for one

I’m now watering and tending umpteen green things, but none that I have planted with my own fair hands (read muddy, nail-bitten, in place of fair) are yet ready to be plucked.

However, my little patch of London green was blessed with a fair few herby delights already (and if I’m honest I didn’t really look at the interior of the flat; I just saw that Rosemary and Sage were growing happily and slapped down the deposit).

So I cannot take credit for my first harvest, but I did take pleasure. Instead of a dry old teabag, this cuppa of peppermint was only two minutes old, and tasted as green and fresh as it looked.

(And it looked much much greener than I was able to capture on camera)

Make this yourself at home

Step one: Grow mint. A windowsill, a pot of mud and a helping of daylight is all you need, but give it a garden and it will take all you offer. Mint spreads: if you want to to keep it under control in your garden, plant it in a pot in the ground to confine its territorial lust. Find a bit of mint that you like the look of and swipe a bit. A sprig in a glass of water is all you need to get going; you’ll have roots within a few days.
Step two: When it’s grown a bit, pick yourself a sprightly sprig.
Step three: Check for greedy caterpillars, aphids and other things that, while probably nutritious and tasty in their own right, spoil the visual effect when they’re floating around in near boiling water. Rinse under the tap if you’re that way inclined.
Step four: Add hot water. Sit contemplatively while your tea infuses.
Step five: Drink your tasty green water. Feel purer. You’re probably feeling so pure by now that it’s time for a trip to the pub.


The evidence

The evidence

I accidentally conducted a test under controlled circumstances, and was amazed by the results.

Method and equipment:

I brought some nice clean looking peppermint in from the garden this morning, and left it in a jar, and the picture above shows what remained in the jar at the end of the day. One fat caterpillar, some chewed up stalks, and a big pile of poo.


  • Green loopers much prefer mint to lemon balm
  • They  can defecate twice  their own body weight in a 12 hour period.


My proper place is obviously at primary school, and not at the front of the class. But at least this is an interesting variation on measuring how much leaf a caterpillar has  devoured.