Mentha spicata L.. or Spearmint, is such a refreshing, revitalizing herb! As a member of the mint family it grows as a rhizome, spreading quickly and easily underground. I have found that the best way to control any mint is to plant it in pots. Spearmint is known to sooth an upset stomach, and is used in teas, and mixed drinks like the Mojito and Mint Julep. A Southern tradition, this is a plant that is very easy to grow in most any soil, and can survive in part sun, or shade.
This photograph shows my spearmint pot, ready to harvest. I will pull off the leaves from about 1/4 of the way down from the top, just before the plant shows its beautiful pink flowers, leaving the smaller leaves at the bottom to flourish. After I enjoy the blooms, I will trim the stalks back down and let it start to grow again. This way I will get several harvests from this summer producer.
Once picked I will dry the leaves by laying them out on a bakers rack until they can be crumbled up and stored in an airtight jar. This can also be done by hanging them in a cheesecloth bag, or using a dehydrator. From there I will make Spearmint Tea, with a touch of sugar, to pour over ice and sip while sitting on the porch!
See if you can find a spot for spearmint and enjoy this delicious tea!
Iced Spearmint Tea from One Ash Farm Recipes
1 large handful of dried spearmint leaves (click here to purchase at One Ash Farm and Dairy Supply Company)
2 quarts of boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
Steep the spearmint leaves in the boiling water for about 20 minutes.
Strain and add sugar.
Pour over ice and sip while leisurely enjoying a hot summer afternoon!