Growing Wintergreen for Teaberries

I can tell you exactly where my love of teaberry started and probably pin down an approximate when; February 1996.  I find that teaberry is not commonly known or appreciated, but for some reason it was popular where I went to high school in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.


My memory can be a bit foggy.  I am having a which came first the chicken or the egg moment.  I am not sure if I had Clark’s Teaberry Gum first or teaberry ice cream.  The gum was one of those odd flavors that many convenient stores and gas stations in the area carried… probably bored with the regular ho-hum choices, I opted for the “exotic” flavor with the snazzy packaging.  It was an instant connection… and throughout my junior and senior year of high school a pack was always on my person.

My first time enjoying teaberry ice cream was during a visit to a quaint little café called Sweet Creams in Stroudsburg; my friend Abby and I were frequent visitors.  I was partial to two sandwiches, the Malibu (turkey breast, bacon, avocado, tomato, sprouts and melted mozzarella cheese on a baguette) and the Beefeater (Roast beef, melted Swiss & creamy horseradish sauce on a garlic baguette). While writing this post I found a copy of the menu on their Facebook page.  They make their own desserts and ice creams, which have changing availability.  Maybe it is because teaberry ice cream is pink, but it was always available in February.  I was so obsessed with the flavor that Abby ordered me a custom teaberry ice cream cake and it was still probably the best birthday cake I’ve ever had… not including Red Velvet of course.

Last year, a bought a pack of wintergreen seeds, so I could have my own teaberries in Bulgaria.  The germinating instructions were intimidating, since I had to plant them in a cold, dark place and wait 3 months to a year… This November, I started the entire package of seeds in a small terra cotta pot, which I kept in my fridge.  I would water and check on it infrequently, but for some reason today, I decided to give it a glance and I saw a small seedling… I was so excited, I grabbed the pot and ran into the bathroom where my husband was showering.  He had no idea why I was so spastic, then he saw the plant and was still not comprehending my exuberance… Well behold, my first wintergreen seedling. Look closely.

To ensure success, I need to research what should I do next to care for it?  I don’t want to have the same failure as I did with my Christmas trees. I guess patience and perseverance is the key.

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