The mint oil is held in the leaf and once its cut, the weather has to be perfect.

"You've gotta have dry weather. Because if you mow your mint and it's wet, when the sun comes out you're gonna steam all the oil out of your leaves. And you would have just lost the crop," Candy said.

That does not happen very often to the Seelys. It's one reason they are the only mint farmers left in an area that used to burst with mint farms.

"In the 30s 40s and 50s this area was the largest mint growing area in the U.S., the world!" said Mike Seely.

"There was about 15,000 acres of peppermint and spearmint here in this whole valley," he added.

He said the farms fell to low prices, a fungus, the Vanport flood or all three.

Now, most Oregon mint farms are found on the east side of the state.

The Seely's process is as simple as cooking up moonshine.

They bring the mint from the field and heat it from the bottom in large, enclosed containers. The rising steam carries the mint oil up with it. The oil is captured and cooled in tubes leading to tanks where its distilled.

Besides being good farmers and distillers, the Seelys have survived by diversifying.

Candy Seely began making chocolate patties to show customers how they could use the oil. They soon learned the customers wanted to buy the patties. Now they are sold in Whole Foods, Fred Meyer and other stores around the country.

Each patty has a small bit of the mint oil inside. It's helped stabilize the farm and ensure its around for future generations.

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