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Tea and Tour for Dunoon Goes POP

On a tour of Glen Caladh Tea Farm by Tighnabruaich in May, the Dunoon Goes POP team collected three tea plants for our new drinks flavour garden. 

Islay prepares a tea tasting

On the shores of the Kyles of Bute on the Cowal Peninsula, several acres of a new tea plantation are settling in at Glen Caladh Tea Farm. On a hot May day, Dunoon Goes POP co-founders Hannah Clinch and Manda Forster, and Dunoon Goes POP gardener and project coordinator Lynne Maclagan, took a trip to meet Islay Henderson who runs the farm with her partner Duncan. 

“We love tea at Dunoon Goes POP! And we are extremely pleased to include tea plants in our new garden that have been grown by Islay here on the Cowal peninsula,” says Hannah Clinch, Dunoon Goes POP co-founder. “It was fascinating to learn about their journey to establish the farm, to try the unique flavour of their tea and to see their sustainability practices in action.” 

Tea plantation at Glen Caladh Tea Farm, by Tighnabruaich

Tea plants – Camellia sinensis – come from China. These evergreen shrubs thrive in acidic soils and the mild and wet conditions in the sheltered Glen Caladh location.

Following organic principles, Islay and Duncan have planted thousands of tea plants so far. They are creating a tea with a unique Scottish flavour influenced by the soils, water and surrounding lush woodland and wildflowers. Islay also chairs Tea Scotland, the association of tea growers based in Scotland. We have purchased three tea plants from Glen Caladh to plant in our new garden. 

“We can’t wait to plant our new tea plants in the sheltered walled garden at the POP shop. We will integrate stories around Cowal’s tea heritage and what Scottish growers like Glen Caladh are doing today into the Dunoon Goes POP garden experience,” says Hannah.

Islay presents Hannah with the new tea plants

Pleasure Gardens and Cowal

As well as building connections with other sustainability-focussed drinks makers around Dunoon and Cowal, integrating related heritage stories into the new garden is an integral part of our Dunoon Goes POP project.

With help from our design and research assistant Lily Vaughan, we are researching the Victorian Pleasure Garden that was once in Kirn, a place where many people would have enjoyed a cup of tea.

If you have any stories or information about the Kirn Pleasure Garden, please do share it with us.

Why are we making a garden?

We’re making a new garden for Dunoon Goes POP, the soft drinks enterprise based at the POP shop in Dunoon. We want to bring soft drinks production back to Dunoon in a way that minimises our impact on the planet and maximises our positive impact on the community.

We’re doing this by connecting people to the fascinating heritage of soft drinks-making through practical workshops, growing ingredients and gathering local heritage stories. 

Thanks to National Lottery players, we have funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund and we’re running two Dunoon Goes POP projects to help us work towards a socially enterprising approach to local soft drinks production.

This project is also supported by Dunoon Community Development Trust and Grow Food, Grow Dunoon.

Herbal tea from our window

POP shop
POP shop

To see some of the plants traditionally used in herbal teas, take a look and have a smell of the plants in the window boxes at the POP shop next time you are passing. Read more here.

Thanks to Manda Forster for the photos at Glen Caladh Tea Farm.


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