Commercial Mint Production near Imbler, Oregon

Uniform green leaves of a mint field, barren sand dunes, and irrigation sprays

This photo shows fields of mint being produced commercially, near Imbler, Oregon.

Mint is a water-loving plant, and people often think of Oregon as being a very wet state with high rainfall and humidity, but much of the mint is actually grown in the eastern part of the state that is essentially a desert. Note the bare sand dunes in the distance, on the right side of this pic. Note also the irrigation running to the left. Mint is only able to be grown in this area due to extensive irrigation.

I personally puzzle at why mint is cultivated in Oregon; in much of the U.S., from the upper midwest through the northeast and mid-Atlantic, mint grows effortlessly to the point that it requires very little care. These areas naturally have richer soils and a more humid climate. In these regions, many people grow mint in their gardens, and it has a propensity to take over.

The fact that mint is only commercially cultivated in the interior desert areas of the Pacific Northwest gives me the sense that something is terribly wrong with our agriculture system.

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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

Joined Sep. 1st, 2009.

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© Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

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