We all know that I'm a mint addict. It's no secret. Indeed, I've mentioned it several times since beginning this blog. If I was told that I could only grow one plant, but was given the choice of what it would be, I'd answer with mint, no hesitation.
Today, this mint addict is finally able to say that yes, I have had a strong victory.
What kind of victory, you ask?
No, I didn't overcome my addiction. That's craziness!
I did, however, manage to zero out my mint expenses. That's right! My mint addiction now costs me absolutely nothing.
See, a while back I spent about $12 on mint transplants.
I planted different types of mint in the ground, in permanent porch planters, and in a small pot (so that I can bring it inside during the winter).
Mint is one of the few plants that thrive in the presence of black walnut trees, so I knew they would be safe. No black walnut toxicity worries with these little guys, which makes for a very happy mint addict. My only concern was in the realm of human error - a realm that I frequent quite often.
Well, it's rained not once, but 3 times in the past week. We've got a nice break from the drought we'd been going through. See, for the most part, Minnesota hadn't been effected by the midwestern drought, but there was this tiny, thin tongue of drought poking into the state, and quite naturally, we were inside that tiny section. Murphy's law loves me, I believe.
Anyway, the other morning it was raining particularly hard at breakfast time. Every morning I clip a sprig of mint from one of my plants for my morning juice, and that morning was not different. Preparing for an unplanned shower, I walked out to the porch-side area of my edible garden with my vegetable scissors in hand...
And didn't get wet.
I had managed to plant one section of mint in an area that was partially protected from the rain, yet still got a decent amount of moisture. Victory!!!
|weighed down with water - Yay!|
But that's not all of it!
That long green leaved stem is another one! The planter is three feet long, so that gives you an idea of just how far the mint root system extends.
When you consider that a package of fresh mint costs around $3 in the grocery store, and I can easily go through one package per week, planting my own has both saved me money and reduced food miles.
Victory!!! Not only am I getting one of my favorite food items for free, but I'm being environmentally responsible at the same time! Woohoo!!!
You may wonder why I didn't mention this victory prior to now.
Well, I couldn't include the first few weeks in my calculations. I had to leave my mint alone for the first week, because I didn't want to shock the plants. Also, in the next couple of weeks, the stems remained small, due to being so new to the garden, so even though I did trim them for use, I didn't gain much. It was a slow process.
Now, however, my mint has taken off so well that I have enough to share with neighbors, if they need any. I've already mentioned that they can cut some whenever they have need, but so far nobody has done so. Perhaps they're nervous about walking up to my house and taking some when I'm not outside with them.
Oh, well. Eventually they'll learn that I not only don't mind, I strongly encourage it. The only thing more pleasurable than growing your own food, after all, is sharing it!