September 21, 2020

Peppermint Tea

What amazing weather. September is usually the month we hope for relief from the blistering heat. This year, we've got amazingly cool and crisp days. September is also the month when I begin to focus on harvesting herbs. The kitchen garden picking and preserving of July and August are behind me now, so it's time to switch gears. 

Peppermint! Some for now,

and some to dry for later.

About a tablespoon of fresh peppermint per cup boiling water.

There's nothing like a good cup of tea on a chilly day.

Drying can take several days or more, depending on the humidity.

Peppermint air drying on a bamboo mat.

Stored in a glass jar for winter enjoyment.

I've started a homestead herb notebook because I want a handy resource for all the herbs I grow and gather here at home. I have years of notes scattered in several places, but now seems a good time to focus on my homestead herbs. Here are some of my notes on peppermint.

Peppermint page in my homestead herb notebook.

Are you still busy with your harvest? Or are you switching gears too?

Peppermint Tea © September 2020


wyomingheart said...

Yes, switching gears for sure! We have been busy getting those chores that were pushed aside during garden harvest! Things
Ike pressure washing the house, cleaning the gutters, painting and setting the diesel fuel tank... you know, the regular stuff ! Lol . I am not, and never have been a successful herb grower. I really don’t know why, and it doesn’t keep me from trying every year, without success, ha! I have decided to try an herb garden next year in a keyhole garden, which I am hopeful will live for me! Keep you posted on that in about 10 months from now.

Gorges Smythe said...

Good stuff!

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, all the stuff that gets saved for the non-gardening season! That's us too.

I have to say that when it come to herbs, I've last at least half of what I've tried to grow. Very frustrating. They just seem more temperamental. I think keyhole planting would be a great idea. I look forward to hearing about your success! ;)

Gorges, especially now that the weather's turning!

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

My spearmint seeds never produced and my peppermint didn't give that much, but I got sage and oregano dried so far. I'm starting to yank the garden and then dig up root veggies (doesn't look like a good harvest due to drought year).

daisy g said...

I love that you are simply sidetracking to another form of gardening/preserving. We have a mint patch and I need to do a better job of harvesting and preserving. I'm not much of a tea drinker, but I'd like to start incorporating more of it in the future. In summertime, I make sun tea with the herbs growing around here.

Enjoy your bounty!

Rosalea said...

I have a clump of peppermint and spearmint, as well as lemon balm and catnip, and grow borage for tea (and the pollinators). I harvest the leaves as soon as they establish in the spring, and take a second cutting as they re-grow. A mix of lemon balm and catnip is a relaxing evening tea. Borage with a bit of honey, very nice. I just plugged the mints and lemon balm in around the pond when we came here, (I brought my roots in pots) as there were so many other things to do! Native vegetation is overwhelming them now, and I have an idea for a dedicated herb bed that I hope to execute next year. (I love your keyhole garden) I dry all of the above, plus culinary herbs I grow. Early frost this year, so I'm into clean up and prep for the garlic bed. Frost hardy stuff is still going, the rest is toast, but we knew the frost was coming, so prepared.

M.K. said...

Growing and using herbs is my department, on our little place :) I have 2 large herb beds. I'm also harvesting now: peppermint, tarragon, lemon balm, and lemongrass. I use these four together as a tea, drying lots of the leaves and keeping them in tins for the winter. I add a pinch of black Darjeeling to it. I also have a mound of spearmint, and I want to have a pure spearmint tea too. Several of my perennial herbs are doing a second grow recently -- tarragon and spearmint. I need to get out there and harvest more, but they are so profuse! Your tea looks yummy.

Leigh said...

Kristina, I've had poor germination with many of my herb seeds as well. That peppermint was actually given to us by a neighbor who was moving, it was already in a pot. My spearmint seeds established themselves, but I've been disappointed with the variety. The leaves smell lovely when fresh, but have no scent whatsoever after they dry.

Yes, drought was a problem for a lot of us this year. :(

Daisy, it's convenient that everything isn't ready all at once! The peppermint makes a really nice summer sun tea. Something about it is very refreshing.

Rosalea, that's a good management plan for herbs. I think natural vegetation will take them over wherever they are! Which is a plus for a keyhole garden. :)

M.K. I wouldn't have thought to make tea of tarragon, thanks for the idea! I like your idea of blends. Mostly mine are stored separately, in case I want to make a tincture or salve or something.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, I have to admit that mint tea is favorite among the herbal teas. Unfortunately I can never seem to keep mine alive during our summers here to the point that we can use it.

The weather has taken a turn here too. Hopefully it is real Autumn and not the false one that lures us into hope followed by another heat wave in early October.

Leigh said...

TB, I agree about the heat wave. It's entirely likely!

This is the first peppermint I've managed to keep alive. It's in a container and I watered it a lot. I seem to recall that it likes damp soil, so dry conditions aren't conducive!

Ed said...

We have switched gears too. Lately we've been harvesting some of the squash and eating a lot of it in our diet. I also harvested some apples last night to turn into apple sauce for the kids. They always eat a bunch and the rest always goes to waste so this year I'm going to try and can some for consumption over winter. I found some canning lids of mom's so I should have enough to do that until I can buy some more when the rush of the pandemic is over.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Email coming.

Sandi said...

It looks wonderful! 🍵

Lady Locust said...

All of the above :-) Still in tomatoes but finished with corn, beans etc. Have started in on squash (cleaning, baking, and dehydrating spaghetti squash) for winter use. I love peppermint tea! Am actually drinking a cup as I type this, but only planted my first pep. plant at this place this year so not much to harvest yet.

Leigh said...

Ed, how nice you found some of your mom's canning lids. Those are hard to find these days. I find myself trying to waste less as well. Just seems prudent these days.

Jo, I'll keep my eye out!

Sandi, thanks!

Lady Locust, you dehydrate spaghetti squash? How interesting. Just scoop it out and dry it like that? Hopefully, your peppermint will grow and grow!

Goatldi said...

Nice peppermint Leigh. My poor plant got dinged by smoke , fire and heat. The only one of my herb cart lovelies that didn't make it through the recent fires. So I will be replacing it tomorrow when I go to fetch my Azure order in a town just southeast of us. They have a nicely stocked reasonably priced nursery there that I have gone to in the past.

I switched gears and the Fall/winter plants are starting to pop up. I also started to light a fire under me to get more organized with my time and use it more wisely.

I am getting more notebooks organized with the different areas that need projects and will begin to be more detailed with what, when and how much if any funds are needed.

I am also prioritizing the painting projects I passed on this summer since it is just to warm to paint except early morning. I already fill my mornings with the bulk of chores so now that the temperatures are dropping I can paint early or late and also move other chores around without worry of melting. I will begin with the front and back doors. I am painting them red and they are now a odd red with a large amount of brown in it. I think that the red I chose will look much better against the logs and I can also use it on the chicken coop which is project number two. Lastly is the two bathrooms , master bedroom and guest bedroom. They all have more or less dry wall in places so that will get done on cool , rainy days between October and Spring.

That is about it. Everything else including the goats and other critters will be holding patterns. I was toying with breeding Willa and Nutmeg (her granddam) but decided to shelve that until next fall when I can get a suitable area for kidding to take place organized. Don't enjoy being put in the position of having to hurray up and do something that isn't permanent or appropriate just to get it done.

Leigh said...

Goatldi, you sound very organized indeed. I'm guessing that as you've gotten the moving preliminaries behind you, the rest is falling into place. Cooler weather helps. :)

Goatldi said...

Cooler weather is amazing to energy levels. As you replied to TB those early fall “heat waves” are a fact . We could always set our clocks by them in past years.

Leigh said...

In northern Illinois we called them Indian Summer. But here, we don't usually get enough of a cool snap to really appreciate the difference. We usually just fade from hot to cold. said...

I didn't have much but I'm still getting tomatoes and beans. I need to start harvesting my herbs. I wish I had some peppermint as I enjoy peppermint tea. Thanks for the tips about all the uses!

Leigh said...

Sam, my peppermint lives in a pot. :) Nice to hear you're still getting tomatoes and beans.