Westwind Milling & the Crosby Mint Farm

The story of Peppermint Jim & the Crosby Mint Farm is one of those that you just want to not be true. You want to say, “Oh no way…this could not have happened! Nuh uh” or, if you are me, you want to go, “Oh no you dinnit!”

But yeah, it happened, uh huh and yeah they did. As some folks might know, the Crosby family almost lost the farm to a bank. Through a financial system that I don’t really understand, they got it back!! I don’t want to belabor the story, as you can find it here or here. But I want you to think about something: the farm has been around for almost 100 years. Think of the last 10 businesses that you patronized. How many have been around that long? The last 10 business I patronized were: the Corner Brewery, Jolly Pumpkin, the Beer Depot, Sweetwaters, Pacific Beach Burritos, a gas station, Hiller’s, a coney island & a convenience store where I got a pop. While I love some of these businesses, not one of them have been around anywhere near approaching 100 years.

I have been following this story for quite some time. So when I saw that Peppermint Jim himself was going to be the guest at a Westwind Milling dinner, well, I had to go. I should first say that these dinners are only $15 and it was well worth it! We had creamy carrot soup (which I believe had real cream in it; when I tried to make it, I used 2% and it tasted like milk-ass), a salad bar (hoophouse grown greens), bread (of course!!! :)), a baked potato bar & homemade peppermint fudge ripple ice cream for dessert. Guess where the mint came from? Just 3 drops of mint oil went into four gallons of ice cream and it was the perfect amount.

So during dessert our man Peppermint Jim talked about the foreclosure process. He sounds like I would have been during the same process–forthcoming, willing to admit my mistakes and trustworthy. Sadly for him,the bank dudes didn’t reciprocate. So P. Jim was being honest, thinking that these folks just couldn’t be that evil and that at some point, their true light would shine and they would help him. But they didn’t. They were out to screw him. And screw him and screw him and just when he thought the screwing was over–that’s when the real screwing began.

While he was talking, I was thinking to myself, “Let’s go kick their asses!” It would be like the Saturday Night Live skit that reimagined the end of It’s a Wonderful Life where they remember where Uncle Billy left the money and all go and kick the shit out of Potter. A much more satisfying ending, btw. If the 40 or so of us at the dinner had possee’d up, we could have done some damage, I’m sure. (Oh yes yes I know violence isn’t the answer…except that what they did is enough to get your ass beat. It surely is).

I am not sure how much P. Jim would want repeated, so I don’t want to say much more (please email me privately if you want more details). But the point is, boyfriend and his sister and many others worked their butts off to get that farm back. The work has just begun, but Jim seems more than ready for the challenge. In fact, he said that he goes to bed at night, excited about getting up the next day to keep on doing his job. Honestly, when have you ever felt that way? That’s an awesome way to feel.

But perhaps the most interesting part of the night was what happened after. I picked up some more spearmint oil before Jeff and I left. Peppermint Jim had told a cool story about how he was selling his mint and came across a crabby woman and later, a crabby man. Both complained of headaches and were, well, crabby. He put a dab of spearmint oil on their temples and continued to chat with them. A minute later, they each said, “My headache isn’t gone!” PJ said, “Just give it some time” and they chatted more. In both instances, the crabapples turned to leave and then turned back and said the exact same thing, “Hey! My headache’s gone.” I had no intention of using the oil for this purpose, but I thought I could bring it to school and maybe give it a sniff when I was feeling stressed.

Jeff & I decided to stop by the French Laundry in Fenton before heading home. (Great place, btw). As we were at the table, I realized that my head was starting to hurt. I didn’t have any Ibuprofen with me, so I thought, “What the hell?” and dabbed on some spearmint oil. I promptly forgot about it, and continued to chat with Jeff. About ten minutes later, I said, “Hey! My headache’s gone!”

I should say now that I don’t believe in aromatherapy, homeopathic medicine or alternative medicine. I respect your opinions if you do believe in this stuff, but I do not. Please don’t take offense, as this is just my opinion and opinions, as I’m sure you know, are like assholes. No harm, no foul. So I never expected this to work, except when it did.

Flash forward to yesterday. I have TMJ and it flares up on occasion, necessitating the use of my mouth guard that holds my jaw in place. I slept in it, took it out, brushed it (that’s a hoot, believe you me) and put it in its little case to take to school. I couldn’t wear it right away because I was about to enjoy my delicious coffee on the way to work. As I was about to leave, I saw the spearmint bottle on the counter. I dabbed a little on and ran out the door.

When I got to school, I ate my oatmeal and then went to get my mouth brace…except that my jaw didn’t hurt anymore. I know that this could be coincidence–and probably is–but it’s still kinda cool. You know what else is cool? Helping a 100 year old farm stay in the family. If you have some extra cash and want some mint, go here , buy some, make some mint ice cream and the invite me over. And if you do, I’ll give you exactly one free pass to call me Peppermint Patti.

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4 Responses to Westwind Milling & the Crosby Mint Farm

  1. MK says:

    I just rubbed Ben Gay on Andy’s back – he was digging post holes. Of course, Ben Gay is made from menthol – i.e. peppermint oil. The stuff really works!

  2. teacherpatti says:

    You are a good wife 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    I just saw Peppermint Jim at the Lansing City Market on Saturday. I have a bottle of Peppermint Oil and use it regularly. A little goes a LONG way!

  4. Tricia says:

    I can’t take ibuprofen (allergy) – maybe I should get some peppermint oil. I can take acetimenophen but peppermint oil smells better so I’d be willing to give it a try.

    Have you ever taken a tour at Westwind Milling? I keep telling my husband (the bread baker) that he should at least go up and visit the place. He’s gotten one of their 50 lb bags of flour through the SELMA folks, and it makes good bread!

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