Up to Our Eyeballs in Mint
It’s a bit past mid-summer and at our house we’re up to our eyeballs in mint. And we’re using it every day. You know how to brew mint tea. We’re certainly having our fill of that refreshing summer drink. We’re giving our mint a quick chiffonade to use on luscious summer vegetables and as a flavor hit in crisp, refreshing salads. We’ve taken to adding mint toward the end of cooking our scrambled eggs in the morning. Mint stirred into tangy, young goat cheese puts something special on your cracker or crusty bread. And of course, sweet summer fruits combined with freshly harvested mint is hard to beat.
The words ‘fresh mint’ can quickly conjure up taste and smell memories. Mint is a beneficial herb and at its core is the volatile oil, menthol and it’s menthol that gives mint the cooling feeling we’ve come to know. Our small herb garden consists mostly of mint plants that come back year after year, sometimes stronger than before. It’s a treat when the breeze helps the plants release their scent into the air.
The words ‘fresh mint’ can quickly conjure up taste and smell memories.”
Mentha, also known as mint (from the Greek word mintha) is a group of plants not clearly defined and estimates of the exact number of species vary. Some say there are over 30 species, the most common being peppermint and spearmint. Interbreeding makes if almost impossible to identify different varieties, even for skilled botanists.
Mints are aromatic, mostly perennial herbs.They possess wide-spreading roots systems and their above ground foliage is just as wide spread. Some, but not all, mints have square stems and other non-mint plants have square stems as well. Leaf colors can range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue and even pale yellow. Mint grows best in wet environments and moist soils. This is a tenacious herb that grows where ever it pleases, thank you very much. It grows in and around your garden and if you don’t continuously cut it back it, your mint will run wild. Because of this tendency, mint is considered to be invasive.
“Plant a little mint, Madame, then step out of the way so you don’t get hurt!” – anonymous British gardener
Do you grow mint? How do you use your mint?
Photo credit: Craig McCord
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