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A day on the farm

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

A day on the farm

By Spencer Blake. CREATED Aug 8, 2014

Fields of mint might as well be fields of money, but since you can't actually spend those green leaves, guys like farmer Drew Eggers (yes, that's Bri Eggers' dad) are busy reaping what they sow.  They're doing it in pretty big machines -- anything smaller would make it hard to harvest mint when it's waist-high. After the water's been shut off, Eggers uses a swather to cut the mint off at the ground. Then it dries out in the field for a few days.

"The drier the mint is, the easier it is to steam the oil out of the leaf," he said.

Then the chopper comes along to pick the mint hay up and load it into giant tubs so the oil can be distilled.

But before you pull that valuable liquid from the leaves, you have to put liquid into it -- in this case, irrigation water from the Boise River. Curved siphon tubes are the quickest way to get water down to ground level.

"To get the siphon tube started," Eggers said, "you just pump the siphon tube back and forth using a pumping action with your hand to get the water to the top, and then you can just let it down and the water goes."

The Good Morning Idaho team found out it's easier said than done, though.  But Bri had muscle memory from setting so many of those tubes when she was young.