Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Warming up for tea

We've all heard of global warming, but it is still some stretch of the imagination to see Northern Ireland as home to tea plants.

Yet that is the venture one company is embarking on and it hopes to produce its first locally-grown cuppa in five years time when the plants mature in a Portaferry field and the tea leaves are harvested.

Whatever next? Maybe we could start growing our own rice. Certainly most of our countryside looks like paddy fields every summer, flooded by the incessant rain.

What about more exotic produce like coconuts or bananas? Sorry, it's doubtful if the local climate will ever heat up enough to allow such cultivation if recent experience is anything to go by.