These days I’m harvesting peppermint like crazy and trying to figure out all the ways I can use it for my family and on our homestead. Thankfully, this prolific herb has many uses, some of which I’ll be sharing–some conventional, and some not so conventional.
Yesterday as I sat outside listening the Bible and plucking beautiful fresh mint leaves from their stems, I was thinking about how I could put the whole plant to use. It always seems a shame not to try to use our fruit, vegetable, and herbs at least one way before it gets to the compost pile. After all, it takes a long time to get through one basket full of mint, so the more uses I can get out of one load, the better.
As I continued with my noodling and plucking, I came up with a few ideas that would allow me to use every bit of my harvest. I’m really satisfied with this method and will be using it from now on, as it just makes so much more sense than throwing everything that’s not perfect onto the compost pile.
How I Used My Mint Harvest
- Pick off of the stems all of the leaves that don’t look like they’ve been chewed on, or have any dried or discolored spots and set aside.
- When you are finished pulling off all of the best leaves, soak in water for a few minutes, swirling them around to loosen dirt. Let the dirt fall to the bottom of the bowl by allowing them to soak 5 minutes.
- With the leftovers pile, remove all leaves from the stems by pinching off the top leaves, the holding the stem by the very top, pinch directly beneath your fingers with your other hand, then slide fingers down the stem, removing the leaves.
- Set aside all of the imperfect leaves to use in the rabbit hutch tray or chicken coop nesting boxes.
- Remove all of the leaves from the water and gently squeeze (only enough to get most of the water out of the leaves, being careful not to damage them). Use immediately for mint syrup, mint iced tea, or in your salad, or dehydrate at at 95 degrees until completely dry (or let them air dry on a towel on your kitchen table). Store dried leaves and use for teas and tinctures.
- Put all of your stems into the water to wash them off. Let them dry in your dehydrator or air dry.
- Bundle dried stems with short pieces of cotton yarn (make sure to trim off any long ends before you give them to bunny)
If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of herbs, click over to the Herbal Academy of New England and sign up for their Intermediate Herbal Course (click course photo below). It’s been fabulous for me, and I’ve learned quite a lot in the past months. I highly recommend it! Also, I’d like to invite you to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any of my new Herbal Primer series, where I will be sharing all about the herbs, and recipes you can make with them.
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