Worked outside for an hour this morning before the rain started again. The place is getting closer to winter ready and I am supposed to get deep snows and extra cold weather this year.
Although I worked up a little heat, after an hour I got chilled and came in for a cup of hot tea. Just right for a few sprigs of Chocolate Mint. I am enjoying that now while writing here. Its menthol is perfect for sore throats if you get one… and I drink it every winter even though I haven’t had a sore throat in years. I tend to healthy.
Chocolate Mint smells so good that I brought it in to winter over. It is hardly to zone 3 if you want it outside, but during our long cold winters I am a big fan of bringing in beautifully scented plants like mint to keep my home smelling like summer outdoors. Of course I don’t buy room deodorizers from the market economy! Silly thought. A little elbow grease and the smell of plants.
There is a lot of talk about mints taking over the garden, but they are not strongly rooted and pull up easily. This one was in a pot all summer so I could keep it moist, New Mexico is too dry for it to escape. In any event, a pot comes into the house easily. I did cut it to the ground when I brought it in since the difference in light will have the old leaves fall off. Better to harvest and dry the crop. It has 3 inches of “new” growth already. I nibble the occasional leaf plain.
The dried leaves work in tea and baked goods. Mmmmmmm add to chocolate cookies, everyone knows that chocolate mint is the best. Maybe I will make chocolate mint fudge with some of the dried leaves.
My first minted tea of the winter and I had forgotten the minty aftertaste as if you just brushed your teeth. A small mint plant at work stays full and pretty and will work wonders on coffee breath at the office. Chew one little leaf and just like a market economy breath mint sans sugar to rot your teeth.
Mints don’t taste as good when blooming, but their blooms attract bees and butterflies in their season. I trim dead blooms off only because I like extending the bloom season so I can watch the butterflies come around.
I love my circular economy and what I can grow here in the Food Forest.