We grow a variety of plants and flowers that we blend with organic green, black, white, red, oolong and pu-erh teas from select tea estates around the world. Our original hand crafted recipes combine high quality ingredients in new and surprising ways.
In May 2003, we left the big smoke (Vancouver) for the Cowichan Valley, to re-imagine a one time cattle (and later horse) farm as a place to cultivate and create – and so the concept of Artfarm was born. We began reshaping the landscape, ridding the property of invasive blackberry vines and planting some 200 lavender plants on our south-facing hill. Along with lavender, we grew garlic and harvested hay; we began growing more food and attending the Duncan Farmers Market with our produce. We also converted the old barn into usable indoor space, as building a clay studio for Margit became our main focus. Inspired by our successes and failures, many initiatives and ideas would come and go in this early time.
Margit’s funky teapots and our love of quality teas lead to the combination and creation of our first Art + Tea event in 2008. That event included a variety of visual and performing artists along with tea tastings. Two 45 foot Teepees housed a MiddleEatern inspired tea room and the other a Japanese influenced Wabi-Sabi space. It clearly reinforced what the farm would become: a place to share art and tea culture in an eclectic rural setting.
In May of 2010 we decided that the focus of the farm would be entirely on tea. We planted two terraces of Camellia sinensis and Teafarm was born. So far, our young tea plants have made it through three winters and are doing really well. We are experimenting with growing tea… we are not yet producing tea for sale. We will be adding more plants to our tea garden the coming year and are confident that within the next few years we will be offering a limited harvest of 100% local Cowichan tea.
Teafarm continues to grow every day as we strive to share our passion for tea and clay.
Margit + Victor
“Much gratitude for making us pause to savor the brew of tea, the brew of time – the present moment. Thank you for gifting us with food and drink for thought.“
- Stella & Joe, Montana
“What a lovely stop on our honeymoon.
Hope the tea plants prosper.“
- Erin & Ryan, Ithaca, New York
December 16, 2013
The tea plants have been doing very well this year. Here is a story by journalist Kyle Staunton from Global…
January 22, 2012
We recently had a visit from Karen Elgersma from Shaw TV who shared some tea with us. The interview will…
Country Life in BC
September 1, 2011
“Margit Nellemann and Victor Vesely are generating a new kind of buzz on Vancouver Island. The couple have planted British Columbia’s first tea plantation, inspiring a caffeine-fuelled cheer of approval from local food enthusiasts, and the possibility of a new crop for coastal B.C.”
August 12, 2011
“Teafarm, a Vancouver Island tea plantation, sells their own blends of teas and is experimenting with growing the tea plant, camellia sinensis.” Originally aired July 12, 2011
March 7, 2011
“If a Cowichan Valley farm has its way, the 100-Mile Diet could soon include caffeinated beverages.”
November 1, 2010
A little while back we had the wonderful opportunity to share part of our day with Gillie Easdon, who writes…