Mintbinder Classic: 1950 International L-Series Farm Truck Still At Work Making Peppermint Oil

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On our way to Mt. Pisgah, our favorite edge-of-town hiking spot, I finally caught this venerable old IH farm truck. Finally? I’ve seen four of these identical trucks parked at Jim Evonuk’s Seavy Loop farm since we moved here twenty years ago, but in recent years, they’ve always been parked behind the barn. I knew they were used for his mint harvest, but had never seen them in action. I know here it’s hooked up behind the tractor, but when it’s full, it gets driven to the mint still (for making peppermint oil) under its own power. As it has been doing every year since the four of them were bought, some sixty years ago.

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Here’s a closer shot. I’m not intimately familiar with the process, but obviously the mint (which has been smelling incredible when we’ve been driving by the past few weeks) is cut and blown into the truck body. Then its unhitched and driven to the still, in a steel building across the road, with a large chimney. Needless to say, peppermint oil is used in a wide variety of products.

Why they have four of these identical trucks is beyond me, unless at one time the harvest required that. Perhaps two trucks each to keep two harvesters  going? In any case, I hope to be seeing these fine old Mintbinders for a long time yet.