Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Radish Love "Radish Chippies"

I have always avoided radishes. Never liked them. (Especially how they repeat themselves afterwards)
I was challenged by a friend of mine to rethink them... especially because they are one thing you can plant SUPER early, and eat within 3-5 weeks from sowing. I was IN! (but cringed about actually eating them)

 Enter:  Radish "Chippies" -- my son came up with the name.

Materials Needed

I used about 2 cups of fresh ruby-red babies, and came up with a great way to learn to love (or continue to)

I used a pampered chef mandolin slicer to get them nice and thin... my setting was at "2" (but would have rather used the saladmaster one that Lisa VT has, but she wasn't home while my creative kitchen juices were going!)

How it all went down:
2 cups whole radishes
1 tbsp grape seed oil (or oil of choice)
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dry oregano

In a large bowl toss the above ingredients together.
(like an Italian Mamma makin' some salad)

350 degree oven, in middle rack about 15 minutes, give them a turn, and put down on lower rack to brown.

On Tray - 350 oven. Middle rack. 15 minutes. The move to bottom rack for another 10-15 minutes.

The conversion in my heart happened here. I now love these babies!


Monday, 25 March 2013

Gardening for Canning and Freezing

If you are planning on starting a garden for the purpose of being able to can and process much of your bounty... here are some suggestions I have on what to grow for a season in your front or backyards.
Humble Beginnings in 2011

Keep in mind, I live in Canada... so for those of you what are in the USA, you may be able to grow other foods (like kumquats for example) If you have access to local farmers markets, be sure to weigh out the pros and cons to growing your own versus buying from a local farmer. Sometimes a plant takes more effort, money and energy than they are worth when you are doing smaller scale, backyard gardening. Here is a lovely link for working out the logistics for space, cost and time too.

 I know that the following few that we have grown and loved are GREAT for canning and freezing:


Beans - for Dill Pickle Beans, plain canned beans, or flash-frozen
Green, red and yellow peppers - freeze well for stuffing, can well for salsas, chutneys, corn relish, etc.
Cucumbers - for obvious reasons! PICKLES! RELISH!
Asparagus - keep in mind that this stuff takes 2 years to establish from crowns before you can begin harvesting. It's an "investment" in the backyward garden, best grown along a fence. Once it is done (very short season) you can plant low-rooting things like salad greens where it was... and them make sure you heavily mulch before the winter comes to protect the area. Makes DELICIOUS dills though.
Legumes - for drying and soaking/cooking later on. You have LOTS of choose from, and I wold say these are ONLY worth is if you have LOTS of space.. otherwise, they are cheaper in the grocery stores.
Onions - You can grow from seed (start NOW!) or sets (later)
Corn - a heavy feeder for those of you with backyard gardens... and it takes up quite a space of room to get a decent amt... but if you have the room... I say go for it.
Beets - Hello beautiful colour. We use blood bull beets from the seed savers exchange. NOM.
Others... if you want to "grow there" - pumpkin, squash, cabbage (for sauerkraut or Kimchi)


Tomatoes - hundreds of ways to use these babies. Make sure you get a variety that say sis processes well... or one that you love. One bush can yield 10-50 lbs of fruit too... so tomatoes are a MUST in this girl's garden

Ground Cherries - These are a staple in my garden from now on. Simple to grow. See my bog about them here: GROUND CHERRIES, and I snapped a photo of the back of the seed pack for your enjoyment. PS... they are apparently perennials too! PSS. I can't say enough about these babies!
First Berries 2012
Peaches, pears, apples, concord grapes, raspberries, blue berries, strawberries - all amazing for preserves and such. Just make sure you think about how much space the plants take up, and how long the plant takes to product a harvest. I would say that strawberries are a great place to start, but make sure you get the established trailing ones if you want a harvest this summer. Raspberries can be invasive, but also incredibly rewarding. Growing them at the back of your property along a fence is good.


Dill from Dedo's Garden in Innsifil, ON
Dill (for pickles)
Garlic (for pickles, pesto, etc.) - see blog post here about my little garlic helper :)
Basil - for pesto
Lemon Balm - for tinctures, flavoured liquors and simple syrups
Mint (lots of varieties) - same as above for purposes  also great dry for teas and homemade bath soaks
Lavender - same as above :)
Cone Flower (Echinacea)
Ready to Harvest

Made July 18th 2012 - used them as Rx this last winter and gave as gifts

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A long way to run

I've been thinking a lot about our Nanny. As I write this blog post, I'm listening to Collective Soul's "run" --- and I can't help but think of her full life.

She was born in Macedonia in a small Village in 1930. She saw the wars. Her stories are incredible. She re tells them clearly reciting the images of helping the soldiers with their wounds, running back and fourth between villages with messages, and hiding away from the Gureilla Soldiers that would hide in the mountains above the villages.

Coming to Canada was a big deal.

Her family wanted a better life. Once here, they settled in the Hamilton and Toronto area, with other Macedonian families.

She and our Dedo met, married, and had 3 incredible kids. Tom, Diane and Julie. They are a testimony of the importance of family bonds, and sticking together, no matter what.

Nanny is jokingly referred to in our family as "the cat with 100 lives". Her body has been though SO much from a sickness standpoint, but she has always recovered. I don't know exact medical details (because there are so darn many!) but she has a bunch of miracles to talk about, and she gives her Creator all the glory. Rightfully so. If you saw her medical history, you would not believe what He has done in, through and with her.

My thoughts drift back and fourth to just how hard Nanny has worked her entire life. We recently visited her in Barrie, Ontario, and I kept on studying her hands in mine. Holding them. Turning them over. Feeling her tiny bones. Her knobby knuckles. The cool, smooth finger tips. Gently pressing on her purple and blue veins. The labour they have put out. Those incredible hands.

I asked her what God's been telling her lately. She always has something to say about Jesus, and I love her stories.

She spoke about a dream that she had, clearly. It was a vision that a large and healthy tree. The trunk was huge, and off the large branches there were hundreds of gifts. She was standing in this dream, looking at the tree. She felt inside her that God was showing her just how blessed she has been in her life. All of the branches were her family, and the gifts were things that God had blessed her family with. She said He was reminding her just how full her life has been. So full. She kept on repeating those words over and over.

"I've had such a full life".

Right now I wonder what she feels at night. In a retirement home room. Alone. Eating at a table with forced-friends. Wait for family to visit. Would you look on at others being visited by, and try and feel happy for them... and not sad for yourself? She is really blessed to have family with her weekly. So many of her mates are not. And it shows. They startle when you touch them. Not used to the interaction. I want to hug and kiss them all. Stroke their heads and brush their hair. Read to them. Tell them just how much they are loved.

I looked around while we were there at all of the sunken-in faces, the longing eyes. We stayed for dinner, and during the meal our son was laughing hysterically about something. Typically I would have asked him to keep it down... but glancing up around the room of the yearning on lookers... I saw dull eyes light up. Laughter. A child's laugh. Some were even brought to tears at the sound. (So I hammed it up a little, and kept him going for a little while to let them bask in the happy glow). :-)

Nanny lost her husband, our Dedo, just shy of a year ago, in May of 2012. They had been married for 60 years the year he peacefully passed. She was by his side. What would it be like spending that amount of time with someone, and then. They are gone. Bed lies empty. Sheets cold.

What would it be like closing your eyes at night, not knowing if you'll wake.

What is is like being told when to eat. What to eat. Not being able to cook any longer  when your life's passion was cooking and serving your family and friends. To not garden. Would your hands cry out for soil and your palms for calluses? Would your body ache not of old age, but of loss of something much deeper.

Passions lost. Freedom gone. Your very existence being dictated by a system or institution's schedule.

Would you pretend to your family like everything is OK... knowing it would hurt them to know otherwise.

Would you have any regrets of not travelling to see the world. Not being able to travel any longer for purely health related reasons. What would it be like to live a full life, but wondering how much further you have to run... until its... Gone.

I roll these things over in my head sitting here, listening to the sink drip and hearing the buzz of the dryer. Simple house sounds. Would you miss those too?

One thing is for certain. Nanny has the rested assurance that she will see her Jesus' shining face, and looks very much forward to the day when she can run with Him in Heaven. Be reunited with her husband and relatives.

Her joy is in Him. Her hope is in Him. Her life is cradled in His hands.

I am so thankful for her stories. Her life. The lives she has created, the legacy that she has left. I am thankful for her heart. Big and wide. I am thankful for being adopted in, grafted into the tapestry of her family, seamlessly as her granddaughter.

I am blessed.


Friday, 22 March 2013

Making Kelp Fertilizer

We took this photo out at St. John's Conservation Centre here in Niagara.
Our son asked is the moss was "old seaweed". 

The boys and I (Meap and SK) started some lovely sea kelp fertilizer. It would be ready in about a week or so, and we'll introduce it to a few experimental plants (to make sure its good) and then... I will report here how it's g(row)oing! I anticipate that the valuable minerals and nutrients will be a yummy treat to our babies.

I would encourage you to do your own research and see what you come up with. All I know is, commercial liquid kelp fertilizer is EXPENSIVE!

NOTE: *** I was hoping to find Canadian Kelp, sold here in Niagara but there is none to buy when I called around to the 4 health-food stores... so I spent the $1.99 at the local Asian Grocery Store, and the product I found was harvested in China. It hurt me to compromise my usual "buy local" "buy Canadian" philosophy... but this was an exceptional experiment, and not a "typical" purchase pattern of our household. ***

Rather than making a blog entry, I used my YouTube account this time, and you can view the video here.

Making Kelp Fertilizer for Seedlings <--- click here for the youtube video.

Enjoy and let me know what you use for your seedlings to give them a boost of nutrients!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Between nerdy gardening friends

Sharing and gardening go hand in hand. No one "knows it all"... which I believe is part of the magic of gardening... and everyone is all so willing to share their wins and losses with gardening over the years.

Here is my on-going "makes me happy" list of why gardening is something every person can get excited about.

Become a scavenger for these bad-boys. Recycle bins around the end of May and into June are a gold mine in my 'hood.
Just be sure to wash them out thoroughly before using them when transplanting your seedlings. It avoids disease transfer and is general good practice when dumpster diving. You can be choosy too... they were free.... so be sure to re-recycle any that you find are broken, damaged or too weak to hold another season of growing babies. Generally, free stuff makes me happy. 

Getting all washed-up before Julia comes over to help re-pot the over 50 tomato seedlings earlier this week. I used dish soap first and gave them a hot hot bath (as hot as my hands could tolerate . Then I emptied out the tub. Rinsed it best I could. Then I re-filled with vinegar (about 2 cups) to a 3 inch deep tub of warm water. We (son and I) scrubbed them with a Norwex Cloth, and let them air dry.

Flats are great. So are flats with plugs (think homemade Popsicle mold shaped) . I think in years coming, I will invest in getting  flats with plugs to avoid root disruption. Using the flat bed method is fine... but you end up doing a lot of root ripping, which makes me cringe. Not pictured here are the clear dome lids. You don't need anything fancy. Any container will do. Used spinach containers from No Frills are great too.

Have a willing "go to person" for your questions on gardening. Mine is Rose Bartel of Bartel Organics off Lakeshore Rd. / Fire Lane 18 ... and Linda Crago from Tree and Twig Heirloom Vegetable Gardens. This is a photo of her on her farm last weekend, from a seedling starting course. 

There are thousands of great groups online. Here is one that I started: Niagara Garden Idea Swap - feel free to join!
My Healthy Green Family  - like this page... it's a great recourse for North American gardeners
Garden Coaches Chat: No Guff. Lots of Fun. This one is great for Canadian Gardeners... and buy the book!

On Twitter, you can #hashtag your questions to #gardenchat and you will be linked up with thousands of gardening friends. You can follow me on Twitter here

On youtube I found the worlds sweetest man... Navajopa31 - if anything... just listen to one of his videos to hear his sweet accent. I love that he refers to his wife as "my bride" ... CUTE! He lives in Virginia (I think), and has a summer home/cottage with an incredible garden. I have learned so much about soil building and tomato planting/growing from him!

On the world wide web I found Margaret Roach, who left her high-powered job as working for THE Martha Stewart to become a steward of her land in Vermont. She is 20+ years in the making of incredible gardens (flower and veg) I check in with her website consistently. She is humble, well-read, and I trust her advice. Find her website Away to Garden, and spend an entire afternoon shifting through the hundreds of articles she has written over the years. 

Find some local friends to share the love with. 
Seen here is Steph and Julia. Both amazing women,  mammas, 
and garden lovers. I also cherish Laura T, my aunts, Valerie H, Tammara H, Elly VH and my Lisa VT. They are all so wonderful and awesome mammas and gardeners in their own regards, and I am thankful for their help and advise. 

One last thing about abundance and sowing an extra row... Garden of Eating Niagara is an incredible volunteer based oragnization that harests local fruits and veggies from people's front yard trees, local gardens, etc... where abundance or waste is an issue. They set up a time they can send over their kind volunteers and will take care of any unwanted or unused fruits and donate them to local folks in need. Wonderful organization. Here is something they are rightfully bragging about on their website:  

Since its founding in 2009, The Garden of Eating — Niagara has harvested and delivered more than 5,600 pounds of fresh fruit to local food banks, shelters and soup kitchens.

In 2012, we harvested 2,057 pounds of mulberries, red and black currants, crabapples, sugar pears, bosc pears and kieffer pears. Thanks to everyone who made this our best season yet. Here's to getting even bigger and better in 2013.

Happy Gardening Season 2013 friends! Share your bounty and sow an extra row this summer. Your local food banks and neighbours will be forever thankful. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Juicing and Juicers and the Juice on Juicing

I don't know how I got coined the "go to person" in my circle of friends and family about what juicer to get... but if I gave you access to my facebook account (I'm an open book, I would actually be fine with giving you full access to it)....anyways!

You would find in my message box over 10 different requests for juicer advice on what one to buy.

Not gonna lie... after writing the 4th reply over the last year or so... I ended up copying and pasting the information to the other 6 askers... there I go again... open book.

Here is my BEST resource for selecting a juicer.


I send all of my inquirers to this website because its literally what I would tell them but in an incredibly detailed and experienced manner. We have owned 2 juicers.

One that was a Jack Lalame one (lame being used on purpose here) and an OMEGA 8005 juicer. The Jack version was a "beginners" mistake because we didn't really know what we were looking for, and got the cheapest one we could find, on sale. After realizing it was a pain in the behind to clean, use and generally terrible at juicing... we began to research juicers online. And by researching, I mean we watched like 100 youtube videos, and read a tonne of blogs (like this one) about juicers until we were set on getting the OMEGA.

Here is a youtube video of our son making "mango ice cream" with his daddy!


Equipping our son for success

Every parent knows mornings and night times can be a struggle. Some children drag their heels moving at a snails pace. Our son is a professional doddler and is easily distracted. All good, if you have the time to coax and hand-hold... but not exactly equipping for independence.

At any-rate  I had a brainiac idea to help him  us along with morning and night time routine. We have always had an amazing routine that has worked for everyone, but SK would still struggle with "staying on track". (see a photo of the culprit below)

The king of distractions... meet : Doggie

Since check marks seem to be his love language currently, I made a simple chart to detail the steps we take to get ready on the morning and night.

Game changer.

It should be noted that I forgot "put on PJs" which is done in-between brushing teeth and picking out books
but it's a running joke around here that "mommy forgot", and adds some humor to the night... every night.... and it's not getting old... and its been over 3 weeks..... oh boy!
He is SO happy, efficient, and independent. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


I am looking forward to putting these bottles to good use this summer. I have a few ideas on how I want to use them. 

1). Making a herb vinegar. Thinking of: Garlic with rosemary and oregano in balsamic vinegar 
2.) Making my own tinctures for cold season
3.) Making a vanilla extract.
4.) Making a minty liquor. 

LOTS of possibilities!

What would you make? How would you put these bottles to use? 

Send me your ideas and I will be giving away a bottle with some homemade deliciousness this fall ...once it's prepared. xo (Giveaway is open to Canada only)

Progress! {ground cherries}

Last summer we fell in love with ground cherries. I had quested for them the in 2011 and found ONE pint for $8.00 at the market. Once I scraped my mouth off the market floor, I enjoyed them immensely .. and plotted a plan to grow my own. 

We had so much success with growing them last summer (2012) both in the front yard here at my house, and out at Julia's farm in Vineland. 

Our family and neighbourhood friends would commune around the 3 GIANT bushes in our front yard... we has more ground cherries that we knew what to do with. My mom made a DELICIOUS ground cherry pie, which lasted 30 seconds before it was devoured (we are classy). I offered them to ANYONE pulling in or out of our driveway. I kept pint baskets tucked into the raised bed over-hang to make sure I could employ the 4 and under age kids to "work" for Auntie Julie, (while stuffing their precious bellies). I made a few parents happy to see their kiddies enjoying fresh as you can get produce all summer too. 

Makes me a happy happy mamma!

The photo below makes me warm and tickley on the insides. 

Growing Seedlings

Upon the request of a few friends and blog-buddies from twitter, here is the system we use here at home for growing our seedlings. The lights belong to Julia and we share a garden (as explained in previous posts)

Ideally, I would love to one day have a hoop house, warmed by solar power heaters, and a potting shed... but that's a goal/dream in the future. For now, I am TOTALLY loving the freedom of growing the little babies in my home. It should be noted that I have an amazing husband and son who let me kinda totally let me get away with A LOT with it comes to gardening. They are helpful, curious, willing to lend a hand, and listen when I yammer-on about the latest thing I learned from so-and-so. I love so and so.

OK! On to business... I edited the photos with descriptions to tell the story. If you have any further questions, please comment below or email me and I can lend any experience! jkaranfilis @ gmail . com <--- no spaces

I raised the light up this particular morning because the sunshine was beautiful and the plants told me to.......
what? they did ;)

ps! Julia found my camera cord last night! It was on the couch... apparently I don't sit down enough to find things on my couch.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Soil Building a Greener Way

There is so much reward in growing your own food. There is even more reward (in my opinion) in doing it sustainability, keeping the bettering of the environment in your mind. Keeping the Miracle Grow and "icides" away from my garden is SO important to me.

Soil building had become something over the last 20 years of gardening (I started early!) that I have been a sponge to. Tell me more I say.

Indoor Wheatgrass, over looking the outdoor wheatgrass in raised beds :o)
A few of the local soil "gurus" out there today are not difficult to come by. You just have to know what to look for. For one, if you have a local gardener who is forever "stealing" bags of leaves from the curbs in your neighbourhood, you can bet they are a soil builder. Leaves are a lovely, free way to protect and cover up bare soil over the winter. They act as a blanket, covering up the soil, and you can turn them under in the spring. Because I have raised gardens in the front yard, I have put a good 6-8 inch layer of leaves into our 4 plots for the winter. Our back yard has a HUGE pile encased in chicken wire that I collected this past fall (thanks neighbours!), and I plan on babysitting the pile over the next 2-3 years until it produces a lovely, rich and nutrient soil for it's dear mommy to use in her gardens. I check on it when I am outside playing/working with SK, or adding to the black-bin that rests beside it. We juice almost every day, and I have been collecting the pulp from the juicer. I spoke with my worm-dealer, Bentley about what our wormies prefer... and he said that if I freeze the pulp before adding it to the composter, the fibers in the veggies even further break down, and it really fires-up the composter.

Mr. Bentley aka: The Compost Guy

Bentley by the way is a humble city-gardener as well, living in Elmira, Ontario. He and his little operation are amazing, and if you want to learn more about vermi-composting, I would recommend you connect with him. He also has a facebook page where you can ask him questions and he has over 7,000 people who also follow-along with his work in worming. https://www.facebook.com/RedWormComposting

Our "Bentley" worms are happy little red-wranglers, and they are doing a fine job making their deal mommy a lovely pail-full of soil nearly weekly. I have already used some of the bottom of the black-composter soil they have made for me over the winter (about 2 cups) for making a weak compost tea for our seedlings to enjoy. Happy to report they LOVED it. (I aged the "tea" for about 24 hours at room temp, and used 16 cups of water, for 2 cups of compost)

Getting back to soil building...another tell-take sign is a fall garden that is "covered" with a green manure. To the untrained eye, this may look like the gardener has thrown-in the gardening towel and given-up for the season.... but to the soil builder... they are covering up their precious soil to avoid erosion, weed over growth, unwelcome trampling-upon, and generally just being a good planner for the following spring. Green manure can be one of a few types of seeds. We have hard red winter wheat here that we thickly cast on the soil in the fall, and it was about 5 inches tall before the first snowfall. It looked like the image below before I covered up the beds with a THICK layer of leaves (see above). It will all get turned under soon.

*Not my photo* - this is a local grower in Brighton, ON and his photo of some rye grass growing
in his raised beds. http://greenerbuilding.ca/2013/01/27/garlic-adventures/
Thick is best because it chokes out the possibility of other seeds (like weeks) growing as well. I will hand-turn it under using a spade and stiff rake (basically flip it over and kill it) this spring, and let is sit for about 2 weeks before planting anything. In doing so, the grass breaks down, and re-generates the soil for planting. It's a big booster for a good strong start for the spring. If I were to plant right away... my poor seed(lings) would be starved of any nutrients because the soil would be busy trying to break-down the wheat-grass... and I would be putting stress on the garden's soil. Better to wait, and plan everything out accordingly.  Just till it over when you can work the soil (and its not too wet or sticky). I am a supporter or tiller-free gardening for a few reasons... but I will post about that later. (mostly for worm and enviro-love reason)

If you didn't plant a fall cover-crop, not to worry. Not all is lost. White clover or buckwheat is a fast-grower and can be used when the soil can be worked. Apparently buckwheat is hard to come by these days... (but I found some organic stuff at the bulk barn, and since my beds are small, I'm cool with spending the $7.00 to build up the soil.) Another gardening friend told me that rabbit food (basically dried alfalfa) is a good thing to use if you are short on time.

Another alternative is alfalfa, buckwheat, white or red clover, or just generally letting nature take-over and run into your garden. If you are local to Niagara head over to the Minor Brother's Farm Supply store. Just be sure to purchase Organic, NON-GMO seeds... you wouldn't want all your hard work keeping those things at bay... to go to waste. Another alternative is looking online. I encourage you to shop locally, but if not possible, to all my fellow Canadians, buy Canadian seed.

Here is an article from Dalhousie University about Organic Farms using green manure. Excellent resource.

* I've unfortunately mis-placed my camera cord... so there are no photos that belong to me in this post, but once I find it, I will add some photos of our lovely system here in Niagara for soil building. *

Friday, 8 March 2013

Tea with Katie - A tea review

I love tea. I like drinking it hot, warm, cold and even in the form of tea-ice cubes in the summer (mind you...it would be more like crunching in that case).

I met a girl named Katie about a year or so ago while attending and participating in a homestead trade show of sorts on a Friday evening in my mom's neighbourhood in Kitchener, Ontario. (for those of you who don't know, I am successfully running an Arbonne business)

There were a number of home-based businesses in attendance that evening, typical ones, you know... Tupperware, Avon, Scentsy, Silpada Jewlery, Enjo Cleaning Products, and a few crafters and artists. All cute and hoping to stir-up some business.


Then there was Katie. She was such an outstanding little cutie-pie among the crowd of ladies. Her bubbly personality, kind and gentle demeanor, and sweet giggle had me at "do you want to try a sample of our teas?" I believe I tried something roobios because it's usually my "go to drink" for tea at night-time. Caffeine free, full of anti-oxidants, and something I really enjoy at anytime of day.

Katie added me as a friend of facebook, and we quickly realized we both have a lot in common as far as interests and personality. She is someone I am thankful I crossed paths with that night (along with a bunch of other ladies I have come to know as friends and partners in business). Since then, she has introduced me to other awesome business owners, shared likes and loves on facebook, and one of her family members became a great customer of mine. It's all about networking people!

Katie posted a week or so ago that she was looking for a handful of ladies to do a "taste test" and again... she had me at "want to sample some of our teas".

Katie is an independent consultant with a company called Steeped Fine Loose Teas and Accessories, a Canadian company that recently got some incredible and positive attention while on Dragon's Den.

Knowing the business of network marketing, I believe Katie has found a wonderful method of distributing products, while personally benefiting from the success of her own business from a financial standpoint. It's very important that you love the products you are representing, and it is very evident that Katie LOVES her teas and accessories.

Here is my review of the teas she sent:

The tea arrived Tuesday morning of this week, great timing because I was actually low on energy, and knew the tea would help me get my gears going again. I decided to make all of the teas at one time, so I would give them all a fair chance, and have their individual tastes in my memory.

So, as per the bag's instructions, I boiled a total of 3 cups of water, and used 1 cup/tea bag. 

Timer set for 8 minutes (5-10 was recommended, so I went middle ground)

I got the idea half-way through setting up my mugs, I read that all three kinds she sent me could be served chilled too.

So, I made my full cups of hot tea, and then divided them into 1/2 servings. 

The hot ones, I drank consecutively, noting the below comments... while the tea intended for chilling was put into labeled mason jars, and placed in the fridge.

Since I am a smell and taste lover when it comes to tea, I did my review based on those two criteria.

Organic Georgia Peach - Roobois Tea
Smell:  really lovely. My salivary glands got all wet and excited with I took in a big whiff  Think: healthy fuzzy peaches.
Taste: Smelt great while rising to my nose before the first sip. Definitely smelt like it was going to be "sweet", but had the typical roobios tea flavour to it, with a tiny hint of dried-peach.
SO good chilled. Although this is March, I have the greatest of imagination sipping on a cold tumbler of this while sweating away in the garden this up coming summer.

Black Currrant:

Smell: Berry smell, like fresh blackberry jam (I am not familiar with the smell of currants)
Taste: Smelt good at the nose, enjoyed the smell more than the taste. It was kind of a let down.
I definitely prefer the black currant tea chilled! Perhaps the flavours when hot were not mulled enough, but after sitting in the fridge chilling for over an hour, it came alive with berry flavour.

Cherry Pie

Smell: This tea is the winner when it came to smell. It tricked my senses into thinking there was something milky and gluten-y (crust?) in the cup when I closed my eyes.
Taste: I liked the flavour of this tea, and the almond-extract definitely was on the palate. This tea I would have to way was the winner of all three for hot-smell and flavour.

It was almost like I was drinking a virgin cherry amaretto, minus the syrupy-sweetness of that liquor. It was a tasty treat when drinking chilled, and again, a real winner against all three according to my taste buds and sniffer.