When we went to Charleston South Carolina, we also stop at two close by islands. The first one was Wadmalaw island,there is the only American tea farm that has 320 species of the camellia sinesis tea plant, which by the way is a cousin to the beautiful Camellia that I post pictures of around Dec. The plantation is 127 acres with most of it in tea plants which really look more like shrubs trimmed up nicely!
In most countries they pick the leaves by hand , here beings there are only four workers working the plantation , the owner made a combine looking equipment to cut the leaves off the top of the plant giving the plant a very tidy look.
We were also able to see how they dried the leaves to make either black tea or green tea. With green tea it doesn’t go through all the process that black tea does.
If you look in the big mirror you can see green leaves,they are in a bin with air flowing under the leaves they let them set,for ,if I remember right ,about 24 hrs,then the leaves make the trip to the over the roller with screen like netting that still has air blowing the leaves to drop to a belt below that then carries them to the conveyor belt ,then to the hopper that grinds the leaves. They go through three grinders until it is once again laid out on a large conveyor belt that dries them under heat lamps ,from there the leaves are ready for packaging.
http://www.charlestonteaplantation.com/, it is really good tea.
Then we went to see the Angel oak tree on John Island.
The Angel Oak Tree is estimated to be in excess of 400-500 years old, stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet (1,600 m2). From tip to tip Its longest branch distance is 187 ft. There is considerable debate about the age of the Angel Oak. Some contend that it is 1,500 years old. Most believe that the more conservative estimates are more accurate.
If one was wearing high heels they were to remove their heels before going close to the tree. The root system was to be protected for the ground there was soft.
And yes, I’m still quilting!! I’m hoping to have the Fire island hosta Queen done here in a few days I only have a small space to finish then on to the binding. It will finish out to be 100″ by 100″ and has taken me a year to quilt! Boy I’m slow! 😀