“The Mint Farm” Bowers Distillery, Inc.

by | Aug 26, 2018 | Check This Out | 5 comments

Bowers Distillery, Inc. is located 45 miles southeast of Pierre, near West Bend Recreation Area on the Missouri River.  Locally, the Bowers’ farm is referred to as the “Mint Farm.”  The Bowers have produced mint oils for 5 generations.  They moved to South Dakota in 1980 from western Oregon.  They produce native spearmint, scotch spearmint, peppermint, white popcorn, yellow popcorn, soybeans and corn.  The Bowers grow popcorn for Jolly Time (American Popcorn Company).  The farm is a family operation.  Kent and Annie frequently give tours of the farm.  Isaac runs the farm’s guided pheasant hunting.  Through her own business, Alecia sells three types of mint oil as well as MotherUp, a livestock grafting spray which helps a foster or natural mother accept young orphan calves, colts, goats, and lambs.  www.motherup.com  The long time farming team also includes full time team members Joel, Beau, Zak, Wayne, Bud, and Ann.

The mint harvest is normally during July, August, and September.  The mint is cut in the field with a swather.  After drying it is chopped with a forage harvester and blowing into sealable mint wagons.  Steam extraction is used to separate the volatile oil from the mint leaves while the chopped mint plants remain in the wagon.  Pure mint oil is highly concentrated.  Just 10 drops of peppermint oil makes a gallon of strong peppermint ice cream.  Peppermint extract is almost all alcohol with only a small amount of actual peppermint oil.  The mint oils produced with care by the Bowers Family are used primarily to create things with a clean and fresh mint flavor.  Large supports of the American mint industry include Mars Wrigley Confectionery and Colgate Palmolive.

5 Comments

  1. Frank Putz

    We were neighbors of Howard and Kathrine Bowers for many years when we wintered in Arizona. I wonder how they are? We live in Vermillion SD and do not go to Arizona any more. I am 97 years old and Ginny is 93. I would like to hear from them or a family member. I think they had a son, Jim.

    Reply
    • everythingsd

      Hello Frank. I sent Kent Bowers your message. He is the son of Jim Bowers. If you want to send me your contact information privately you can send it to jon@everythingsouthdakota.com. Then I can pass it along to Kent or maybe Jim.

      Reply
      • Frank Putz

        Thank you for your response. We are happy that Katherine is well. I met Jim when he visited Howard and Katherine. He was staying in Fountain Hills at the time. We would like to have Katherine learn that we think about her often . We know she is a sweet lady. I enjoyed playing cribbage with Howard. I am 97 years old and Ginny is 93 . We still own our farm near Winner, SD. Tough year for farmers with so much rain. Perhaps we can hear from you again.

        Reply
    • Meta Maxwell

      Hi This is Meta, Mettie Louis Lowell’s daughter – cousin to Katherine. After Howard passed away, and John was moving to Texas, Katherine moved to Splendido in Tucson to be close to Jim. I still have mint oil from the Harrisburg distillery! My husband and I live in Eugene. Mettie passed in 2006 at age 89. Happy you are doing well!

      Reply
      • everythingsd

        Hello Meta, I passed your message along to Kent Bowers. 🙂

        Reply

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