This Saturday Willowbrook Welcomes Richard Rorex ~
There is so much to share about what is going on right now at Willowbrook! First off I am THRILLED to host classical guitarist Richard Rorex at our dinner concert this coming Saturday evening. It will be a wonderful event that starts with wine tasting at Eaglehaven Winery, followed by a delicious dinner at Willowbrook. Acoustic guitar resonates with me, and I can hardly wait to experience the beautiful music that Richard will share! (If you click the photo above you can get a feel for what is in store.) Of course, any event at Willowbrook isn't complete without tea. After-concert tea and sweets will finish off a perfect evening. (Did I say how excited I am for this?) You won't want to miss this special fall event!
Last issue I shared Sun Cottage with you. This newsletter I am sharing a whole solar system! Willowbrook is 'going green' with a ground-mounted array of solar panels. I applied for and got a REAP grant! That set in motion the installation of The Willowbrook Solar System. (It is out of this world!)
Banner Power Solutions did an amazing job managing the soggy soil that made them don rubber boots, and hand-carry the gear and goods from where they parked to the back forty where the system is.
The inspector was out last week, so the next step is for the power company to install their meter. Then I will have even more reason to LOVE those sunny days!
Remember the newsletter when I shared about Rad Power Bikes coming to let me test ride their e-bikes? Well, this summer I hope to add some electric bikes to our bike tours, so you can experience a 'sweet ride' powered by the SUN!
Woohoo! (Can you tell I am excited about it?) Watch for more info about e-bikes coming to Tea and Tour!
Getting Ready for Tea and Tulips ~
I have to plan early to make Tea and Tulips a success, and I just got done planting fresh tulip bulbs in the raised beds. There was a lot of prep work to be done. I learned the hard way that tulips are prone to disease and had to swap out the soil before I planted this year. I got some beautiful compost from a farm down the lane and had my son and his buddy do the shoveling.
This is where I plant my tomatoes every year. They love the brick wall that acts as a heat sink and helps to grow lovely tomatoes. This Spring this bed will feature locally named tulips like Mount Baker, Skagit Valley and City of Vancouver. I have three other raised beds with hundreds of tulips planted. You will have to come and see them!
Getting to Know Herbs:
Sage is an aromatic plant with grayish-green leaves that is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Sage is typically used in small amounts because it has a strong earthy flavor and aroma. This herb makes a nice contrast with sweet or acid flavors and pairs well with pineapple, sausage, and poultry. My mom makes the BEST chicken noodle soup with just the right amount of sage. Did you know that the leaves can also be deep-fried to make a crispy chip that can be used as a garnish? The flavor of sage is versatile. If you like a strong sage flavor add it at the beginning of the cooking process. If you like just a hint of sage taste add it near the end. Most of us just think of sage when making our Thanksgiving dinner, but sage is also a powerful medicine used for digestive problem like gas, stomach pain, and heartburn. There have also been studies that show the antimicrobial effects of sage can neutralize microbes that promote dental plaque, and sage-based mouthwashes may prevent cavities. Sage has also been used to treat cancer, memory problems, and blood sugar issues. All in all, sage is definitely an herb to be thankful for.
Holiday Tea at Willowbrook~
I am starting to put up lights on the trees outside of the tea room, anticipating your arrival to Holiday Tea! It is a magical time to come to Willowbrook.
Holiday Tea runs the first two Fridays and Saturdays in December.
I have a favor to ask. Would you share this email with friends of yours who want to make the holidays special with their kids? Mom and Me and Gingerbread Tea is a new Holiday tradition tailor-made for families and debuts December 3rd and10th. At an elegant table gingerbread dough is rolled and and cut into cookies, then put in the oven to bake. Gingerbread men are brought to the table to be decorated with frosting and sprinkles! The best part is eating gingerbread together with a pot of Christmas Tea! The festive ambiance of the manor and lighted gardens create a magical experience that all will enjoy.
December 21st is a Christmas Dinner Concert you wont want to miss! Featuring festive Cornish game hens over rice pilaf and fresh-baked Willowbrook rolls. The dinner is preceded by wine tasting at Eaglehaven Winery which is just across the field from the manor. Our concert will feature YOU joining in caroling with our brass trio and pianist Christine Britsch. Kyler Brumbaugh, Cindy Luna, and Wyatt Wahlgren make up a spectacular trio that makes holiday music come alive! It will be a warm, festive occasion. Seating is limited, so reserve your table soon.
Share the feeling of Willowbrook with your friends and family this year by purchasing a Tea Club membership for them. They will receive four gift boxes throughout the year, one for each season beginning with our Holiday Gift Box. This Christmas Care Package includes a medium tin of your choice of tea, plus three samples of our holiday favorites. The box also includes chamomile apricot soap, Willowbrook herbal lip balm, a Christmas tree ornament, and a package of cards by one of the artists of Willowbrook. Our Holiday Tea Package can be purchased separately. Shipping rates apply.
We’ll make sure to get your tea gifts in the mail for you, to give you some quiet time during the busy holiday season— perhaps with a nice cup of tea!
Teacup Time ~ The first person to mail in her teacup story was Ellen, and I featured it in September but neglected to put in the picture that makes the teacup story so rich. So here it is today. Thank you for your patience Ellen. I love the family picture and how your tea set carries on the memory of a beloved aunt!
If you have a favorite teacup, please share the story and a picture of it with us!
"I hand carried my aunt’s tea service from Northern Ireland after she died at 97 years of age. It’s Royal Albert Old Country Rose that she purchased when it first came out. Most of the pieces had never been used. I feel like I am honoring her memory every time I have a tea party at my home."
"This is a picture of my Aunt Martha. The baby she is holding is me and the two other children are my brother and sister, Billy and Anne. The picture was taken by our home in Northern Ireland almost 70 years ago
That is it for this issue! I didn't have space to share pictures of me plowing the field for spring planting of chamomile. That will have to wait until next time. But I will include a picture of me on the tractor with my plowing buddy, Squidge.
Don't forget to share this issue with your friends who have kids. Mom and Me and Gingerbread Tea is a great thing for families. The icons above make sharing easy. If you want to follow me on social media click one of the icons at the top of the newsletter.
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