Spring is such an exciting time of year for so many reasons! One of the many being that FIR TIPS and all sorts of other coniferous tips are budding. In this post I’m going to share how you can go about harvesting your own Fir tips to make a delicious and highly nutritious tea with!
Before I get into though, I should mention that most coniferous tree tips are edible however there are exceptions to this. For example, Yew tips are not edible and actually happen to be highly toxic. As always it’s important to do your research before you harvest anything from the wild!
Although Spruce tips might be more sought after in the culinary world, I find Fir tips to be equally delicious and they also happen to be widely abundant around the cabin here on Salt Spring!
How to identify Fir Tips?
- Fir needles are flat. If you take a single needle and try to roll it in between your pointer finger and thumb, it will NOT do so
- Fir needles are friendly. Fir needles are not spike-y – they will not feel sharp when touching any part of them
- Fir needles often have 2 whitish lines on their underside
- Fir needles grow singularly from a single point on the branch.
Why Use Fir Tips?
- They are highly nutritious in all sorts of micronutrients!
- They are especially high in Vitamin C, helping to support your immune system
- Fir tips have been known to help support coughs, sore throats, and other respiratory issues
- They taste delicious, resembling that of a citrus like flavour
- They are readily available! Instead of consuming another type of herbal tea (often grown very far away from you), why not consume goodies growing in your own backyard? It even saves you money!
- Eating fresh from nature has invaluable energetic benefits – try for yourself to see what I mean!
How to Harvest Fir Tips?
Harvesting fir tips is really easier than you can even imagine. All you have to do is lightly pull from the tip of the tip (hope that makes sense!), and they should come off easily. Be sure to bring a small basket of container to put the tips you’ve collected in.
Many experts recommend harvesting Fir tips when they are very young (just as they are emerging from their brown casing) as it’s thought that these tips are the most tender and fresh tasting. However, when I’m using for tea, I am not picky, and often harvest them at the size they are in the photo above.
How to Make Fir Tip Tea?
Fir tips per 1 cup of tea: 1.5 Tbsp. (approximately 5-7 tips, depending on the size of the tips)
- After harvesting your Fir tips, boil a pot of water
- Place the Fir tips directly in a steeper (or tea pot)
- Pour the boiling water over the tips and allow to steep for 5-8 minutes
- You’ll know it’s finished steeping when it becomes a beautiful lime green colour
- Pour in a cup and enjoy!
- Optional: add a touch of honey or a little squeeze of lemon. Personally, I prefer them just on their own!
Final Words: I want to acknowledge that wild harvesting from the land comes from Indigenous wisdom – and for this I am so grateful. As our Indigenous elders would remind us, when harvesting, be sure to always have up most respect for the plant and ensure you leave enough for the rest of the ecosystem to thrive!