It's funny how things can sneak up on you. Yesterday I got off work ready to walk my furry four-legged companion and whamo. Two hops and a skip out the door I look up and green little spruce growth is staring back at me. And not just any spruce growth...tip growth!
Why the excitement? Spruce tea of course. Don't worry, I'll explain. While interning on farms years back I was exposed to fir tip tea. Delicious tasting, I figured gosh darn it the growth on this spruce seemed light green and newly formed like the fir tips. So I grabbed a few from the spruce and went back to do some research.
A quick google search and low and behold, tea-worthy they were. More excitingly the White Spruce or Picea glauca I gathered the tips from (its bark is in the photo above) were noted as highly nutritious and medicinally valuable. Packed with vitamin C and also noted as being useful for curing sore throats and respiratory ailments.
So off to collect a few more. Steep, steep and deliciousness. Lemony...a little fruity. Add a dollop of honey and you have heaven. Even my friend's 3 year old son suffering from a cold and respiratory ailments approved. It has to be good right?!
There you have it folks. Go out and forage for some spruce tips, fir tips or any coniferous tree for that matter. It seems they are all steep-worthy. Just err on the side of caution and do a mini test with just a few tips. And to be safe...identify the tree you are foraging from and see if it's been used as a tea or medicinal before.
As always enjoy and get out there and start foraging. The season IS upon us!