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The good things about mint!

July 31, 2010
I just cannot resist cultivating a garden each year – though I have to admit that “cultivating” and “garden” is really kind of pushing it at this point as this project is taking place right outside my window on my fire-escape.

My landlord told me that the fire escape is not really for growing tomatoes but rather an escape route in case of a fire (at least I’ll get tomatoes on my way down…).

Nevertheless, I figured I have gone from about 12 pots to 8 to 5 to now….3 so he should be okay. I have also decided to just grow the most unkillable plants I know of. One which is mint.

Mint is great to put in ice water, lemonade, tea and to decorate with in general. I sometimes cut a few stems and tie with ribbon and attach to a gift. Here I stuck it in on a bottle of wine I was giving away.

And these are a few stems I cut off and put in my bathroom. I always keep a flower or a plant that is growing roots in the bathroom. So when these mint stems have long enough roots I plant them in a pot and double my mint garden.

Same thing with these little stems here that make my kitchen smell nice and minty.

You can also cut little stems and add them to an ice-tray and then you’ll get frozen ice-cubes with mint inside. Or you can mix them in with epson salt for a week or so – once you remove them you’ll have bath-salt with mint fragrance. Just one note – if you have an actual garden and plant mint, it is a good idea to plant them in the soil with its’ plastic container as mint tends to grow quite strongly and may take over everything.

The other things I grow, or more like experiment with, are seeds from fruits and vegetables I get at the Spanish supermarket, or while traveling abroad.

(At one point I had at least 14 different kinds of hot pepper growing in my kitchen – one of the easiest things to grow is hot peppers – just be aware that the peppers you get are HOT!!!! With my frequent trips abroad and handing over my plants in the care of Mario some of them have been challenged to stay alive…)

The easiest way to get seeds from fruit and vegetables you get in the store or at the market is to scrape them out, wash them light to get that thready stuff of and then let them air-dry on a piece of paper on the window sill. 

Bigger seeds I like to leave in hot water – not so hot that you’d burn yourself as that would kill the seed – for maybe 45 minutes right before planting. 

This is my smallest orange plant. The leaves smell wonderful! It is sensitive to direct sun so it has to sit right inside the window. I took a seed out of an orange last year and stuck it in the soil and ta-da – here it is on its way to give me fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning. Or, well, fresh orange scent for now.

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