Necessity was truly the mother of invention in Cat Spring, Texas, when the drought of 2011 forced ranchers to sell off cattle and watch as 100-year-old oak trees shriveled and died. Abianne Miller Falla and her sister, JennaDee Detro, did not take the losses lying down. Instead, they took a hard look at the plants that were thriving on their family’s property and began wondering how yaupon, a hardy, invasive plant, could be used. Imagine their surprise when they learned that yaupon, the only caffeinated plant native to the US, has a long history of uses as tea by Native Americans. The Cherokees called the yaupon “Our Beloved Tree” while others called it the “Black Drink.” The Karankawa, who lived in Texas, also harvested the yaupon for their use. Various tribes used the tea in ceremonies, for religion, or as a simple stimulant. Archaeological discoveries have placed yaupon residue in pottery as far north as Illinois.
– Candace Ahlfinger has loved traveling since she was little and has always been on the go whenever possible. Now she is retired and gets to do what she loves best… TRAVEL! Whether it’s traveling with her wonderful husband, or our children and grandchildren, traveling is a great experience that enriches her life. Because she always enjoys reading and hearing about others’ travel experiences, she wants to share her travels with the Ellis DownHome readers.