Making Harvesting Roselle Easier

Roselle, or "wild hibiscus," in English, is also known in Spanish as Jamaica. Its calyxes make wonderful red tea which can be used as such or turned into candies or preserves.
Did you know that wild hibiscus is both delicious and healthy? Jamaica roselle
Roselle plan in bloom

Hey all,

I’m a tea drinker, and some of you might be too. Did you know that you can grow your own red zinger tea? You can. The plant that it is made from is called Hibiscus or Roselle. One of the biggest challenges of the Roselle plant, is getting the seed pod out of the calyx flower so that you can use the rest of the flower for making tea, or jam. A friend of mine, Ron Cook, recently introduced us to an awesome gadget for doing this task though. Here’s the gadget that he made:

Homemade tool for pushing the seed pod out of the Roselle flower
Homemade tool for pushing the seed pod out of the Roselle flower

With this gadget, he cut way back on the amount of time that it takes to separate the calyx from the seed pod. The gadget consists of a piece of copper pipe and some wood.

If you like Red Zinger tea, which is red and flavored much like cranberry, you might consider growing Roselle next year. The plants are about 5’ tall and can get about 4’ across. They are attractive, and could be grown in the back of a flower garden or mixed into a vegetable garden. If you live anywhere in the USA which isn’t considered the South, be sure to grow a variety which doesn’t require as much time to produce, as some which are more tropical. We grow Thai Red, which is a variety we obtained from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

Roselle can be started indoors, just like tomato plants, at about the same time as tomatoes. In warm/hot climates it can be direct seeded just like okra (and at the same time as okra).

 

Roselle leaves have a lemony flavor. They can be used in salads or even cooked in stir fry or stew to lend a lemony flavor to the mix. Calyxes can be eaten, after one has used them to make tea. Sweetened, they are delicious, almost like fruit.

Anyway, I thought I’d share the gadget that Ron made so that you could all see the cool tool that has been helping us recently with roselle.

Until next time,

Homestead in health ya’ll!

Emily

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