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Michigan Peppermint

Michigan Peppermint image
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Mr.Kinsman.of Burr Oak, Mich., told the members of the Elmira (N. Y.) Farmers' Club recently how some of the Michigan farmeis flnd proflt in the peppermint erop. It is estimated by some of the authorities that St. Joseph c'ounty iiroduces nine-tenths of all the peppermint oil in tho country. Mat. Kiusman said: Peppermint wants a dry season to yield oil in paying quantities. Any land good for corn-rich enough to give good crops - is suited to peppermint. The field selected is usually a clover lea, ploughed in the fall, the planting done iu spring in rowa three feet apart, he plants nearer in the row8. The ürst season cultivation is given as for corn, the object being to keep weeds down. A full yield of oil runs up to six or seven pounds to the acre, the range being all the way f rom two and a half to seven pounds. I suppose the average may be set down at about four pounds to the acre. The price is usually about S5 a pound. The cost of the distilling apparatus is f rom $125 to $200. The entile labor of fitting tlie ground, planting and tending is simple. Much of the work can be done well by boys. For the planting sniall pieces of roots are used; they are dropped in the rows at suitable distances and covered usually by pressing a little earth over them with the toot. The cultivation is confined to the flrst year. In the second year the plants run together and the "best erop is had. The third year the erop is reduced, and after that the field is ploughed, when ït eau be used for corn, for althougli the peppermint exhausts fertility to some extent tHere is still enough to support corn and give a fair erop. The roots are raked out when the ground is ploughed and used for setting, every joint sending out a apear, much the same as is done by quack traas. 1 have seen the statement printed that twenty pounds of oil have been pro duced on an acre, it m:iy be true, but the average cannot run much beyond Cour pounds, and that amount at full prices pays very well for the labor einployed. There is one peculiar feature of 1 'lie erop, or of working it up. The peppermint must be cut in dry weather, and no more can be cut at a time than may be worked up in the next twenty-four hours, the distillery running day and night. 1 do not know why it is so, but if the plants are cut when wet very little oil can be exppoted.


Old News
Michigan Argus