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Growing and Selling Fresh Cut Herbs.
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of the Month
To 36 inches
is one of the most commercially cultivated herbs in this country. Peppermint
is distilled to make mint oil used to flavor many familiar products. This
herb has been important throughout history in virtually all parts of the
world, both for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is a significant culinary
herb in Middle Eastern, Greek, European, and American cuisine.
There are over 600 varieties of mints available
today with more being developed regularly. Many are hybrids, with a myriad
of variations in flavor, color and taste. While many of these are fun
to grow, only a few are of commercial importance. The best mint for culinary
use is spearmint but most of the mints have some use in food or beverages.
Commercial growers should grow only one variety of mint in volume for
fresh-cut sales. There are many varieties of spearmint available as well.
The types grown from seed are rather "weedy" in growth pattern and do
not have the best flavor.
The best variety that I have found for culinary
purposes and garnish is "English" mint and is the one featured in the
photo on this page. It is a traditional type with large, deep green, smooth
leaves. It is a very vigorous grower and has exceptional flavor. It may
be difficult to find true "English" mint. Many nurseries offer this variety
but they tend not to be of the same smooth-leaved, vigorous type.
Mint can be propagated by division, stem cuttings
and by rooting the runners, or stolons. This wonderful herb can be very
invasive and will escape just about every enclosure known to man or woman.
A single mint plant, left unchecked, can spread 3 feet in all directions
in one year! In order to contain its invasive tendencies one has periodically
pull up the runners from above and below the soil surface.
Growing this herb does take a bit of work and
attention to detail but it is definitely worth it!
Mint is covered in more detail in Chapter 20
of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs by Sandie Shores.
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Herb of the Month pages.
comprehensive revised edition of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut
Herbs is available from
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Independent Publishers Group.
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Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
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The Herbal Connection