Farm Facts About Mint

Farm Facts About Mint

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.

Peppermint

  • 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.

Spearmint

  • 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