The Plant Breeder Who Minted a New World of Flavor

Those who knew Jim Westerfield described him as a renaissance man. A talented, self-taught musician and composer who knew everything about antiques from the American Revolutionary period. An entrepreneur who, together with his wife, created the Westerfield House, a popular inn and restaurant in rural Illinois. An obsessive culinary gardener and amateur botanist.

But Westerfield’s true passion was breeding new types of mint—he created dozens of new varieties over the course of his lifetime. The names of his mints hint at their flavors: “Sweet Pear,” “Candy Lime,” “Marshmallow,” and “Candied Fruit.” His crowning achievement was “Hillary’s Sweet Lemon Mint,” one of the relatively few mint varieties ever to be granted a United States patent…[READ MORE]

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