WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Indiana is the fourth leading producer of mint in the United States, according to a publication from Purdue University.
The mucky soils of northwest Indiana, which are high in organic matter and loosely textured for good root growth, make it ideal for growing peppermint, native spearmint and Scotch spearmint.
According to the Purdue University College of Agriculture:
• Most of Indiana’s crop is distilled to make mint oil to flavor products like gum, candy and dental products.
• One pound of mint oil flavors approximately 40,000 sticks of gum.
• Fresh mint can be frozen, dried long term, or stored in the refrigerator short term.
• When cooking with mint, always keep it, and other fresh produce, away from raw meat and raw meat juices to avoid cross-contamination.
• If picking mint, look for vibrant green leaves. Avoid brown or wilted leaves.
• Mint pairs well with lamb, potato, sweet pea, tea, drinks and fruit salad.
• Peppermint and spearmint have been grown in Indiana since the late 1800s.
• 5,500 acres of peppermint were grown in northern Indiana in 2021.
• 3,100 acres of spearmint were grown in northern Indiana in 2021.
• Mint is harvested mid-July through mid-September.