Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dried Black Peppermint Tea: Saving a little summer


Curiosity and the desire to learn originally led Matt and I to the farm each weekend and since making the leap out of the corporate environment and into the agricultural industry these feelings continue to be my driving force.  Finishing the day and realizing that I've learned something new, something I find useful to living a good life is an incredible feeling.  It's not everyday, but it's a lot closer to it than I've ever felt before.  Sometimes the list of new projects I want to try exceeds the amount of time I think I have, but then surprisingly enough the motivation, the tools and the spark of energy come together and it's important to take advantage of those moments when possible.  I have been diving into a lot of different food related activities lately from preserving to fermenting.  What I keep learning is that most tasks are not that hard or at least not impossible, but require persistance.  Whether it's the passion to achieve something or the curiosity to try something new, the action of doing will offer an opportunity to learn and enhance with each attempt.  To generalize, doing things myself instead of simply purchasing them.  This requires the time to analyze, deconstruct and finally rebuild whether it be a product, a recipe or even a structure.  With the famous and colorful...

Maine fall foliage as a reminder that the summer bounty is coming to a close, I've decided to attempt to save some of the great summer memories through the winter so that I can share them with people too far away to enjoy the fresh melons and tomatoes right off the vine.   Although I've missed the berry and tomato season, I managed to think up something I hadn't yet tried to do on my own, drying herbs.

After discussing a few ideas with Eliot regarding setting up a small herb drying section of a greenhouse he thought the exposure to the sun could bleach the drying plants and it would be best in a cool dry place.  At Four Season Farm, all of our cucumbers and tomatoes are grown inside greenhouses and are trellised using hanging strings.  When cleaning out these greenhouses, I salvaged some of the left over string to hang herbs from.

A great feeling to have this freshly cut and dried mint all year round for tea.

Not only am I able to dry this delicious mint and other plants for tea and cooking herbs, but the the room also smells like fresh mint.

With some help, I was able to construct several sections of double strings to hold the hanging mint stems in place.  

Most of the plant is water weight so after a few days you will notice that each stem is a lot smaller than when originally harvested.  After about a week or at whatever point the leaves easily snap off the stem, they can be removed and stored in glass jars, brown bags or anything else that can be fairly air tight.  The less air that gets in, the longer it will last.  

The pure desire to do something will always trump outside expectations of success or failure.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love your post on dried black peppermint tea and your journey into the world of agriculture! It's inspiring to see how curiosity and the desire to learn have led you to embrace a more fulfilling and hands-on lifestyle. Your passion for trying new projects and learning from them is truly commendable.

    Thank you for sharing your journey and insights. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post and look forward to more of your adventures in agriculture and food-related activities. Keep up the fantastic work!