Droppings of Silk Worms – Food for Tea

In traditional tea gardens in China, droppings of the silk worm (the larva of the silk moth) was used as fertilizer in the cultivation of tender tea plants. The delicate and precious art forms of silk production and tea blend naturally together. Both art forms arose from Chinese soil and they nourished each other.

At a recent art exhibition on Chinese Silk Art, a series of old paintings depicting the different steps of silk production was displayed. I noticed that on each picture there were tea pots and cups. Tea was a natural part of everyday life in China; tea was served with meals, at times of leisure, for ceremonies and as refreshment at everyday work. The drink of tea nourished the workers while they were making silk; just like the silk worms it their turn nourished the tiny tea plants growing under the mulberry trees in which the silk worms lived, all in a most natural way.

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