Peppermint and spearmint have been growing in the U.S. for generations. In 2010, the country produced a whopping 8.6 million pounds of these minty-fresh crops. Here are some more interesting facts about mint.
- The top 5 peppermint-producing states are Oregon, Washington and Idaho with more than 1 million pounds each, followed by Indiana, California and Wisconsin.
- The four varieties of peppermint are Black Mitcham, the original selection from the wild, and three variations: Todd’s Mitcham, Murray Mitcham and Robert’s Mitcham.
- Peppermint is one of the oldest and best tasting home remedies for indigestion.
- In 2010, the U.S. harvested 71,300 acres of peppermint.
- The top 5 spearmint-producing states are Washington, with more than 1 million pounds, followed by Oregon, Indiana, Idaho and Michigan.
- Native spearmint is used to flavor toothpaste and dental hygiene products, whereas Scotch spearmint has a milder, more pleasant taste and is used in chewing gum and candies.
- In 2010, the U.S. harvested 18,600 acres of spearmint.
More Minty Fresh Facts
- Mint is grown for the oils it produces in specialized glands on the leaves and stems. This oil is recovered by distilling the harvested plants using steam.
- The Romans believed eating mint would increase intelligence. The scent of mint was also thought to stop a person from losing his or her temper, and royal ambassadors carried mint sprigs in their pockets.
- Mint is shallow-rooted and requires loose-textured soils for good root penetration and growth. It requires 60 inches of rainfall for optimum growth and fertility.
source: National Agricultural Statistics Service, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service