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Spearmint

Spearmint is an excellent groundcover, and can be used fresh or dried. It is a fragrant, hardy, vigorous growing perennial plant with pointed, slightly crinkled, light green leaves. A milder cousin of peppermint, it grows best in a moist soil. Spearmint grows to 24" tall. Use the tender, young leaves for hot or cold teas, or as a garnish.

Mints are at their peak of flavor just before they flower. When ready to harvest your mint, do it early in the day. Cut sprigs from the plant and swish in a sinkful of cool water to remove dirt and debris. Pat dry on paper towels . Use a dehydrator on the lowest setting or air dry in a shaded, well-ventilated area. Leaves will be brittle when dried completely. Hold stem with thumb and forefinger and strip the leaves. Store in airtight jars. You can pick sprigs to use in recipes as needed, or freeze leaves in ice cubes for later use. Harvest sprigs just before the flowers open for most intense flavor.

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