(NaturalHealth365) Traditionally speaking, mint is an herb widely known to help people with stomach pains, a flaky scalp and even weight loss goals. So, today, I want to show you how easy it is to grow mint and some ‘do’s and don’ts about using mint properly.
First, let me say …
It’s summertime and I am trying to be optimistic because as you know Jay Kordich (my husband) has always said, “Your Health is Your Greatest Wealth” and if I don’t continue to juice and eat a pure diet, I won’t be able to support him or endure the stress of caring for him – these days – if I am not healthy.
Great news about mint
No matter where you live, even in an apartment, you can actually grow fresh mint, either in your backyard or in a container on your balcony. Even if you don’t have a balcony, you can grow fresh mint by your windowsill as long as the sun is out.
Our herb garden is just beginning to really take off. Especially the mint – oh, how Jay and I love to juice mint in the summertime!
Tips on how to grow mint – either in an apartment with or without a balcony
• When choosing a location for your mint, find one where the plant will receive morning sun and partial afternoon shade.
• Plant on a patio, in a container.
• Harvest mint sprigs before the plant flowers.
• To stimulate quicker growth this summer, pinch off the flowering buds as they appear. Even if they are not flowering, it’s a good idea to pinch so that you get a lot of fresh mint. (Have you noticed how expensive mint is?)
• Now you can grow it for pennies on the dollar instead of paying up to $9.00 for a bag.
• If planting your mint in a garden bed, apply organic mulch. Please never use any kind of mulch that is not organic as the pesticides will penetrate the insides of the plant, making it impossible to remove any of the pesticides.
• Plant the mint fifteen inches apart. Don’t worry if they grow into each other, but they won’t do it if you continue to stimulate growth by pinching off the tops and sides.
• If planting your mint indoors, locate your container where it will receive good morning light and/or afternoon light. But it needs a good 4 to 6 hours of light.
• Don’t over water mint. They like to be moist but not overly wet. Make sure if you are planting in containers, that the bottom of the container has a hole in it with some small rocks surrounding it so you can make sure that it drains properly and the plant has breathing room.
• Don’t buy GMO seeds! Make sure to find organic seeds as they are almost the same price.
• Don’t mix mint with other vegetables. Only grow the mint in containers that are dedicated to it. You can mix varieties of mint, though. (see below)
• Here’s our favorite mint varieties: Lemon Mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, Lavender Mint and of course, there’s Chocolate Mint but we don’t recommend using it in juicing.
Tips on planting mint in your backyard
Jay and I love growing mint in our backyards…and yes they do take over, but we have a large area in our yard that needs good ground coverage, so why not? If you don’t have a large backyard or area that you don’t want to see too much mint, then we suggest you get a large container box to grow your mint in.
Here’s how we grow it…
Jay and I usually buy four or five different varieties (mentioned above) and plant them side by side. This way, when we pick the mint for juicing or for tea, we have a mixture of so many varieties of flavors, or just one variety.
We also make sure to put the name (on a stick) of each seed so we don’t get confused as to which is which.
Jay and I also make sure that we add organic soils to our mint garden. Our backyard was riddled with rocks and wet soil no matter the time of year, so we amended it by digging it out and then burying all the new soil over the regular soil, then mixing it up a bit but mostly the new soil is covering about 9 to 12 inches over the top. We want to make sure we are getting the best minerals and vitamins once we grow our mint.
The best way to juice mint
First, is cutting: You can cut your mint and store it in any kind of bags, but they will last the longest done this way. (keep reading)
Cut your mint and immediately wash and spin dry the mint, making sure the mint is very dry before putting it into the refrigerator. Once your mint is dry and ready to refrigerate, we line the bags with organic paper towels and place the mint inside of the bag (ziplock) and make sure all air is out of the bag.
When you’re ready to juice you can use the stems and all. We recommend that you juice your greens first, then flush through with either apples, carrot, beets, celery or cucumber. (see recipes below)
Fresh spearmint juice
3 cups fresh spearmint tea (with stems)
1 inch fresh ginger root
Juice mint first, then ginger root then finish with apples.
3 cups fresh peppermint
1/2 pineapple (without the skin)
1 inch fresh ginger root
Juice peppermint first, then follow with the pineapple, then ginger root then pears.
Fresh mint green juice
2 cups mint (any kind)
1 large cucumber
8 ribs celery
1 lime with skin or 1 lemon
Start off juicing the mint first, then juice cucumber, then lime or lemon, then finish off with the celery.
About the author: Linda Kordich has been married for 33 years to Jay Kordich, world renown health educator and the “Father of Juicing”. She is the co-author of their new book, Live Foods Live Bodies and teaches throughout the world on the ‘Powers of the Gentle Art of Foods and Juices’. For more information about Jay and Linda Kordich – visit: JayKordich.com
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