Many many years ago a small mint plant was transplanted to a tire out by the garden where it stayed put for a long time. Then it escaped and moved happily all over our property. I don't believe it's an incredibly invasive plant, it's not pushing out other weeds to live, it is simply happy and grows well wherever it lands. It's in the yard and I mow it down, it smells divine and grows even more. When we put sod on the chicken coop roof, mint went with it and is now happily growing 12 feet in the air.
I dry copious amounts of mint for winter teas, the boys love to wake on a snowy morning to a hot mug of mint tea. We dream of summer, reminisce and revel in the steamy mint vapors. I use it in baths too, it smells so good. I even pick it for summer bouquets as filler instead of ferns or baby's breath.
If you don't happen to have mint growing in your garden or yard it's a great plant to start your foraging career on. It's really hard to misidentify the smell gives it away every time. If you want a secondary identifier look at the stem, it should be square.
|this is a really bad photo of a square stem|
Making an mint infusion is relatively easy, peaceful and delicious way to enjoy mint in the summer. It's good for an upset tummy or just a refreshing drink.
-simply collect an handful of mint leaves, don't pinch down to the ground just pick the top two to three leaf set, where you picked will then produce two fresh stems of mint effectively doubling your mint crop in a couple weeks
-crush about half the mint and add it to the hot water
-pour into a carafe or pitcher
-add the rest of the mint cover and set in the sun
-it should be sufficiently steeped after 45 minutes or so
Of course you can make and infusion with just about any herb you come across but do your research. I have several books I depend on for my herbal and foraging information. Find some you trust for your area and make sure you cross reference anything new. Better yet look for a local herbalist who will steer you in the right direction and perhaps have a few tips for local foraging.
Peace and Love--