|Fiona shows one of the picking bags|
|Tea plants for acres|
We arrived at 11 AM and were greeted on the lawn by a couple of friendly dogs and Fiona, the lady owner who lives on the farm currently. We could get some iced tea or cold drinks inside the house, and browse the beautiful gardens until the program began. There were hundreds of birds in the flowers. It was a real treat for anyone who loves botanical gardens.
|Iced tea served by Fiona|
|A variety of flowers and birds|
We were all gathered under an awning on folding chairs while Fiona told us all about the 30 acre farm and its history. Her grandfather started it and it had successfully been growing teas since about 1910. All the tea has to be hand plucked by workers skilled in finding the best tea leaves. They are paid for the amount they pick, but the tea has to be a good quality or it is rejected by the cooperative that processes the tea for surrounding farms. You could purchase tea directly from her which was processed locally. I did and I'm enjoying it at home iced and hot. I have to say the caffeine is quite high though. Nearly every commercial tea company in the world buys Kenyan tea and puts their brand on it.
A Kenyan man took us on a walk past the rolling hills planted with tea plants, and through the forest nearby. They often put food scraps out for the black and white monkeys that live there...in order to keep them in the woods and not in the garden...but we didn't see any. He knew a great deal about the trees and plants and could tell us which ones were useful for medicine. He said he had to walk with a machete and dogs to be sure thieves didn't come and cut away the useful plants.
|Tea plants are hand plucked about every 7 days|
|He showed us a variety of plants in the forest|
|Cows on the farm too|
Afterwards we came back to the house and garden which had been set with tables of dishes. We went inside the dining room to get our food. There were salads, vegetables, soups, crackers, fruits, casseroles, cheese, cakes and home made ice cream. Everything was delicious. I told the chef he should print a cookbook of recipes and he said they couldn't because then there would be no reason for people to come eat there! Of course there was plenty of tea if you wanted to drink it. This turned out to be our last day in Kenya and was one of the best.
|Cheese and bread|
|casseroles, rice, and lots of vegetable dishes|