June 2012 Issue
Editor's Note: Plant Appreciation
I knew that wild patch of spearmint growing alongside the garage had to be good for something — other than flavoring iced tea and providing a welcoming environment for noxious weeds. (Funny how the plant spreads, yet generously makes room for crabgrass, dandelions and other companions.)
Last year, when contributing editor Jill Sell proposed a story on growing and cooking with mint, I began to see the plant in a much more favorable light. In fact, in the fall I took cuttings, stuck them in a small ceramic pot filled with damp soil and watched the plant grow on a windowsill all winter long. The leaves, though not nearly as abundant as in summer, still added flavor to a comforting mug of tea and provided a free ingredient for tabbouleh salad. (Over the winter, those little plastic containers of mint in the grocery store are pricey
My appreciation for mints grew even more when I read Jill’s story (see “Summer’s Scent,” page 122). Not only are they easy to grow — they thrive on neglect and can be grown by “anyone with a brown thumb,” says The Ohio State University Extension’s Pam Bennett — they also come in a host of scents and flavors. Chocolate mint, orange mint, banana mint, ginger mint … I’ll be looking for these and other varieties at local nurseries. Jill also provides two Ohio sources for the plants: Mulberry Creek Herb Farm in Huron and Mint Brook Meadow Teas in Dalton, the state’s largest commercial mint farm.
I’m also eager to try the recipes for Chocolate Mint Syrup and Mint Tea Cooler provided by Jill’s friend and fellow herb lover, Jane Rogers, who is a photographer and home economist. The two will be teaming up again for an article on blueberries that will appear in Ohio Magazine
’s August issue.
A final takeaway from Jill’s article: piping the scent of mint through office ventilation systems improves alertness. That’s a very useful idea for a Monday morning here at Ohio Magazine
This month, the search for Ohio Magazine
’s seventh annual Best Hometowns gets under way. We’re looking for communities that are outstanding places to live, work and visit. The criteria include community spirit, education, entertainment, health and safety, business environment and culture and heritage.
If you’d like to nominate your town for the 2012–2013 honors, turn to page 16 of this issue or go to ohiomagbesthometowns.com. Nominations must be postmarked by midnight June 29
. In July and August, the editors will research and visit the nominated communities for articles that will appear in the November issue.