Chocolate Mint (Mentha x piperita)

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.

 

 

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About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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2 Responses to Chocolate Mint (Mentha x piperita)

  1. Carrie Zylka says:

    Hmmmmmm that sounds delicious. We own a condo so we do a lot of herbs and smaller plants in our container gardens. I think I might have to put Chocolate Mint on next years list of things to plant!

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