I found this story about the only working tea farm in the U.S.A.and thought I would pass it on....
This whole operation boils down to something sweetly simple. More basic than the golden-brown nectar that drips from restaurant-sized taps inside the gift shop or even the lulling tree-lined drive down Maybank Highway to arrive here.
"Two leaves and a bud," says Bill Hall, no doubt for the umpteenth time, as he plucks a sprig from the edge of the green 127-acre expanse that is the Charleston Tea Plantation.
The idyllic farm, the only one of its kind in the U.S., reopened in 2006 after a four-year hiatus. In 2002, the gift shop doors closed, the visitor tours ceased and American Classic Tea abruptly disappeared from local grocery store shelves.
"We just cut it and left it," Hall remembers.
What happened off the fields during that time involved legal filings, a court-ordered sale of the property and the biggest name in specialty teas. But since then, Hall says, just about everything around here has doubled, from the amount of tea produced to the number of visitors touring the fields.