If you have ever grown any plants or even trees, you would know that the leaves of your plants and trees dry up and fall off on a regular basis. In fact, there are trees that shed all their leaves during some seasons.
Many people of course are aware of this and just let their plants and trees shed their dried leaves without doing anything. Others who are more aesthetically inclined, cut off the dried leaves from their plants and trees.
Usually, the dried leaves are put in garbage bins to be disposed or if the numbers of the dried leaves are significant enough, they are burned en masse. Dried leaves can be a nuisance too especially for the street cleaners.
They litter the sidewalks which makes the job of street cleaners doubly hard and when there is a rain, they can clog the street drainages with their sheer numbers. Although they biodegrade with time, for many people they can’t biodegrade fast enough.
Then it dawned on me, I regularly see dried leaves in our kitchen pantry. My mother always stocks up on dried Oregano and Laurel Leaves. On special occasions, she would also buy dried Vanilla Beans.
But aside from herbs, we can also look at plant seeds. Dried Pepper Seeds, the dried Pepper Fruit itself and the Powdered Dried Pepper Seeds and Fruits are a staple in many kitchen pantries all around the world. In fact, there is even Chili Oil.
To summarize, a lot of herbs and spices can be sold in their dried form. Whether it’s the leaves, stems and the flowers. Even the roots of herbs and spices are bought. The beauty of growing herbs and spices is that you don’t need a lot of space to grow them.
There have been many home farmers who have managed to grow herbs and spices right in their own homes whether for personal use or for selling purposes. Even onion and garlic which are vegetables are considered spices by food shops when they are sold in their dried form.
And of course, onion and garlic can be commercially grown right in your own backyard. The beauty about these plants is that there is still a market for them even though they have already dried.
But we must not mistake the word “dried” for “rotten.” There is a whole lot of difference between the two. When we say that something has rotten, it means that something has biologically decayed.
Dried simply means that an object’s water contents have been removed. In a lot of objects, especially organic ones, when it has been dried, it has the effect of preventing the decay of the object for a very long time.
In the case of plants, many plants are dried under the sun or in some other process like baking them in an oven to prolong their life. Once dried, these plants do not need special temperature controlled storage spaces to be stored.
All that they need are storage containers and rooms which are contamination free. This means that the containers or the storage rooms need to be insulated from water and even moisture. Moisture is well known for making dried plants moldy.
There are also insects called “Pantry Bugs” which can infest the dried foods you have stored especially in your kitchen pantry, hence the name “pantry bugs.” So, you should take the precaution of storing your dried plants in insect proof containers.
Perhaps your common sense have already dictated this to you or you have watched a couple of jungle survival videos, but it’s now common knowledge that tea can be made from a lot of plants and not just tea plants.
For example, dried Pine Needles are boiled to make tea. But not only tea plants and pine needles, the leaves, stems, flowers and leaves from many plants can be used to make tea. In fact, many people have been boiling the different parts of many plants for herbal purposes.
All the parts of the Ginger plant for example can be made into tea. This includes the roots, stems, leaves and flowers. In effect, nothing is wasted from the ginger plant. There are people who drink ginger tea for its herbal benefits.
If you were a farmer for example and considering whether to plant rice or ginger, you should take note that not all the parts of the rice plant is sellable unlike the ginger plant. Another thing you could also consider is the market growth between rice and ginger.
Market business statistics online estimate that the rice market is growing at a rate of 1.2% CAGR while the market for ginger is growing at a CAGR of between 5 to 6%. This could be an important information to you if you are concerned with the market growth potential of a plant.
The tea plant is put into a drying process to preserve its flavor and aroma. And by the looks of it, this drying process is effective. The tea industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% for the periods between 2020 and 2027.
So, there is a good chance you would make money if you sell tea. I don’t know if these global figures are inclusive of non-tea plants that are also made into tea, but more and more people have been definitely tasting tea made from non-tea plants.
One of the positive thing about selling tea is that you get a leg up on the product image department. Unlike coffee which has been attracting a lot of attention as an addictive and relatively unhealthy product, tea is perceived to be medicinal.
In this case, product health awareness plays an important part in your tea business. You can literally start a tea business by espousing about the health benefits of the plant you are growing right in your own garden.
Imagine my surprise for example when I saw dried Aloe Vera and Serpentina tea being sold in Amazon. We literally have both of these plants growing abundantly in our small garden!
I chanced upon a product in Amazon called “Mango Chili Pepper Black Tea”. Yes, you heard the name right. You might be familiar with this tea but I’m most certainly not. According to the product description, it really has chili flakes and cloves as an ingredient.
I checked the consumer product rating of this product and it has plenty of five and four star ratings in Amazon. This means that people who bought this tea product really liked it enough to give it this much positive rating.
But based from this product, it is very evident that you could really market a lot of tea products with varying tastes. It is very evident that there are people who really want something spicy in what they eat or even drink which includes tea.
Another product I might want to try is Aloe Vera as a seasoning. According to online sources, it has a savory and “Umami” flavor. Umami is closely associated with the flavor given off by Monosodium Glutamate.
This means that I have right in my own garden a plant that I can substitute for monosodium glutamate or more popularly known as “Ajinomoto” which have been having a negative health image globally.
I know many people especially nonsmokers would be turned off by tobacco, but if you look at the processing of tobacco leaves, they are also dried up and then grounded into small pieces before being rolled into paper and turned into a cigarette.
And just like the tea plant, the tobacco plant is encountering competition from other plants whose leaves and even other parts are being turned into cigarette or tobacco. There are many cigarette and tobacco alternatives which are being marketed as being herbal or even medicinal.
But by their very essence, cigarettes and tobaccos are unhealthy. The explanation is simple. You inhale smoke from a burned plant and all kinds of smoke coming from burned materials whether or not they are from plants or any other objects is unhealthy.
But this article is not about to discuss the positives and negatives of smoking. This article would rather discuss alternatives to tobacco plants which may be better or worse than the tobacco plant itself.
Let’s go back to tea, do you know that there are people who smoke green tea? But not only green tea, apparently, all kinds of tea leaves and stems can be smoked as well. This is definitely good news for smokers at least.
For those who are unaware, there are people who do roll their own cigarettes and buy grounded up tobacco leaves and cigarette paper with the sole purpose of saving money. There are products out there that come complete with their own filters.
For any cigarette smokers out there, I’m sure that it’s getting harder and harder to smoke and a lot of people do want to quit smoking but for some reason or another never do so. There are also smokers who quit and then have relapses.
According to an old article in Time Magazine titled: "https://time.com/3991330/green-tea-cigarettes-are-now-a-thing/" target= “_blank”>Green Tea Cigarettes Are Now a Thing, green tea cigarettes apparently contain no nicotine.
According to the Time article as well, green tea cigarettes are already being smoked in Vietnam for decades already. I can already see how this information would be processed by some people.
I can already imagine people buying cheap tea bags and cigarette rolling paper to make their own homemade cigarettes. Although I don’t encourage smoking, I see this as an alternative way for smokers to save money. Again to remind everyone, smoking anything burned is unhealthy.
It is no secret that a lot of medicines are already being sold in capsules. Even herbal medicines are also being sold in capsules. This got me thinking. Maybe tea can also be sold in capsule form.
And I was right. Tea is also being sold in capsule form. According to marketing materials from tea capsule sellers, each tea capsule is equivalent to seven cups of tea. I have tried researching online as to whether tea capsules can be dissolved in hot water and then drank.
My initial search online however have been inconclusive. Although I found that there are indeed medicines that come in pill or capsule form that are specifically designed to be dissolved in water, there was no mention if tea capsules are one of them.
But it’s just plain common sense. A tea capsule is made out of dried tea leaves and could therefore be dissolved in water. The only question that remains is if the tea capsule has enough potency to make the water it is dissolved in taste like tea.
It is plain to see that there is a big market for the dried parts of plants. There is a big chance that you might just have a sellable plant product growing right in your own garden and you are just not aware of it.
There is a big chance for example that the flowers you are growing in your garden can be turned into tea. At least now you know that when the flowers in your garden dry up, they can be still sold as tea.
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Food will be so bland without herbs and spices. Spices are so important during the olden days that the economy of the world was driven by spices which is known as the Spice Trade. In fact during the olden days people went to war over spices which is known as the Spice Wars...