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Help Save Historic Mint Farm

November 5, 2008


mint mojito, originally uploaded by Amelia PS.

Every once in awhile I’ll see a cause mentioned on another blog that really resonates with me and I know I couldn’t do that cause justice so rather than try I’m simply going to repost Redstategreen’s words which were originally published here.

The story of this mint farm is happening across this country and this are truly treasures that we shoul do our part to save. The mint oil can be ordered online and would be a great holiday gift. Not only are you gifting your loved ones with something useful but it’s another case of putting your money where it matters. I’m sure they would be happy knowing there gift will help to save a historic farm. I wasn’t going to buy anything as gifts, instead I was going to give donations to various charities/causes in their names but at $5 a dram I can well afford to purchase these for family members and still make donations.

“I don’t know these people, but I got an email from a group I’m on from someone who does, and I think this is something we should help out with.

The Crosby Mint Farm in St. Johns, Michigan, was founded in 1912 by J.E. Crosby Sr. on two acres. The now 140-acre farm has produced chemical-free spearmint and peppermint essential oils for 96 years:

“In addition to having what appears to be the oldest surviving still in the country, the Crosby Farms operation also appears to be the oldest mint farm in continuous operation in the United States. The key word here is “continuous” – that it has cultivated and processed mint since J.E. Crosby purchased the property before World War I.” — Ephraim K. Smith, President; Heritage Productions, Inc.

The subject of two documentary films on American mint production, Crosby Mint Farm (St. Johns) is under foreclosure, and the owners are asking for help:

Linette Crosby, co-owner of the Crosby Mint Farm in St. Johns, said she hopes an upswing in sales over the next year can erase the debt that left the farm she and her brother own in the hands of an agricultural lending agency after a foreclosure auction Aug. 14. “We have enough inventory (to sell and pay off our debt),” said Crosby, 50, who co-owns the farm with her brother, “Peppermint” Jim. “We’re not asking for handouts. We want to sell our products.”

– Lansing State Journal, August 23, 2008

For $5, you can get a dram (1/8 ounce) of pure mint oil. It lasts a long time and is very hard to find. They’re offering free shipping on orders over $30.

Currently, there is enough essential oil inventory to pay the $638,000 debt (they’ve sold enough to collect almost half that). On November 1st the bank has the right to inventory and equipment, effectively ending the business, then on August 14, 2009 they can take over the property.

Sales have been good, but they still need to sell 70,100 drams of mint oil to pay off their debt, so if you are at all interested please take a look. The site is slow due to the number of people there, but keep trying.

Here are some uses for mint oil (link from their site):

Headaches
Peppermint may ease headaches and migraines. Apply a rub to temple area in circular motion and across the forehead. For migraines, wet hair and put 4-5 drops into your hand and massage into the scalp.

Sinus Problems
Peppermint is very useful in reducing sinus congestion when added to a bowl of steaming or boiling water. A rub may be applied to chest, back of neck area, and behind ears. A few drops of oil in a vaporizer at night will help ease congestion as well.

Digestive System
Peppermint oil can help relax the muscles of the digestive tract to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. One drop of peppermint oil on a sugar cube or used in tea may help relieve intestinal cramps.

Body Muscles & Arthritis
Peppermint oil is soothing to sore muscles when added to a hot bath or massage oil. Use this to soothe arthritis pain. Mix 4-5 drops of oil into 1 ounce of lotion and/or massage carrier oil.

Feet
Applied full strength, or mixed with a carrier oil, peppermint oil may relieve swollen feet and may reduce and assist in healing blisters, cuts, or athlete’s foot by killing bacteria.

Women Only
Relieve menstrual or abdominal cramps, add 1-2 drops of peppermint oil on a sugar cube or into an 8 ounce glass of water and drink. A toothpick dipped in oil works great for tea or water. Also helps to relieve Hot Flashes!

Flu Season?
For a sore throat, sparingly dip a cotton swab into mint oil and carefully apply to the back of the tongue area. Relieve congestion by rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil on chest & covering with warm compress. Add a few drops of mint oil to the water of a humidifier or vaporizer to keep it smelling fresh and kill germs.
Peppermint Oil is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal!

I don’t know if it really does all that, but it sure smells good! Not to mention that it can be used in all kinds of recipes.

Here are some links if you want to investigate this further:

Last-Ditch Efforts to Save Historic Mint Farm (WLNS-TV)

Save the Crosby Mint Farm!

Farmer hustles to sell enough mint oil to save farm business (Detroit Free Press)

To buy yourself a dram of essential mint oil and help these people out, visit their website at
http://www.getmint.com/

You’ll notice that the Nov 1st deadline has passed and their inventory is really no longer theirs but they are still selling as much as they can to prove to their lenders that they can make this work and to prevent their valuable inventory from falling into the hands of a bank that would do who knows what with it.

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