Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Black Mint, Wild Marigold Plant

In case you're looking for a fun and unique addition to your garden, we have a very special variety called Black Mint.

I was gifted with the original seeds from a country un-touched by gmo crops.  There was very little info given except it's official name Tagetes minuta.


So many tiny seeds!

Black Peruvian mint also known as Huacatay (pronounced "wah-kah-tie") plays an important role in southern Peruvian cuisine. Enthusiastically known as Tagetes minuta, it is an annual herb of the Asteraceae family, and is the Peruvian cousin of the Marigold



Black Peruvian mint's flowers and leaves produce a strong odor as it contains an essential oil called Huacatay oil. The Huacatay oil is used to make herbaceous and floral perfumes.



From wiki,

Tagetes minuta has numerous local names that vary by region, most commonly found in the literature as; chinchilla, chiquilla, chilca, zuico, suico, or the Spanish term anisillo. Other names include muster John Henry, southern marigold, stinking roger, wild marigold, or black mint, is a tall upright marigold plant from the genus Tagetes, with small flowers, native to the southern half of South America. Since Spanish colonization, it has been introduced around the world, and has become naturalized in Europe, Asia, Australasia, North America, and Africa. 

Can you count the BEES?
This Black Mint, "Wild Marigold" plant has been the BEST plant in the garden this season for attracting bees.  Every time I stepped into the garden, the bushes were buzzzzzing!



Now that we have harvested a few times from our gardens, we're able to offer Black Mint "Wild Marigold" seeds at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.
*Because of high demand and limited quantities, we can't guarantee varieties such as these will be available for very long*

2 container-planted Black Mint plants and they're HUGE!


The flavor is a blend of basil, mint, citrus, tarragon and it goes great on mild flavored dishes like risotto or meats like chicken and fish.

The natural insecticidal properties of the huacatay protect them from bean fly and nematodes, and at the same time provide a living trellis for the beans to grow up! They are tall straight plants, just perfect for trellises and pyramids.

From Only Foods

Huacatay Medicinal Usage

The medicinal use of Huacatay goes back to the ancient Inca civilization. This plant contains Anthelminthic, carminative, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, emmenagogue, fungicidal, and stomachic properties, which make it a great medicinal herb. Huacatay is used in many ways. The dried flowers and leaves of this herb are largely used to make traditional medicines. It contains thiophenes which have antiviral effect. People use this herb as a flavorful tea for medical benefits such as cold, respiratory inflammations etc. It is also effective for the treatment of asthma. The infusion of its leaves is used to cure stomachaches. The herb is effective against Ascaris and hookworms, but not so much against tapeworms and pinworms.
In recent years, apart from its uses in cuisines or in medicinal purposes, there has been a growing interest in us herbal products made with this herb.

RECIPE: AJI DE HUACATAY
1 rocoto pepper
1 hot chile pepper (Peruvian aji amarillo is commonly used)
1 cup of huacatay leaves
light olive oil or another relatively neutral oil (corn, sunflower...)
salt

Puree the peppers and leaves together, adding oil until you get a smooth puree - it was less than a ½ cup. Add salt to taste.


RECIPE: PURUVIAN HUACATAY SAUCE
From Chowhound
Ingredients
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons huacatay paste
3 tablespoons shredded mint
2 cloves garlic

Instructions
In a blender or food processor, puree lime juice, vegetable oil, huacatay paste, mint, garlic, and salt to taste.
Spoon over grilled tuna, swordfish, or Chilean sea bass or serve with ceviche.


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