Curtis and Lisa Marble own CL Marble Farms located in Corrine, Utah. Curtis grew up on a farm. Farming is in his blood; it’s what he loves. On the other hand, Lisa, grew up as a city girl in South Ogden and had never even heard of the small community of Corrine, just miles north of Ogden.  She had no idea that one day she would be living a completely different life in Corinne and loving every minute of it.

Lisa earned her MBA and worked in hospital administration writing hospital policies and procedures. After working for six years in Iraq, she came home and a new friend – who just happened to be Curtis’ nephew – set them up on a date.

Curtis laughs, “I figured if she could last six years in Iraq, she would do okay on a farm.” They married and now work together to help the farm thrive. Curtis adds, “Lisa brings a positive attitude to the farm. She’s so supportive. We work right alongside each other.” 

Lisa agrees, “We work together, laugh together, and just have fun together.”

CL Marble Farms grow onions, hay, corn, wheat, squash, pumpkins, and MINT. 

Crop diversification is important to the profitability of the farm. Curtis describes one difficult year, “We got a few days of rain followed by four days of frost and lost our entire crop of onions. That was a hard year. Diversifying our crops helps us ride out some of those storms.”  Crop diversification is why Marbles started farming mint.


The United States produces about 70% of the world’s mint production, and 84% of that production comes from the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. 

The Marbles are one of two registered mint growers in Utah, and both are located in Corrine. Marbles currently grow 160 acres of mint. An acre is about the size of a football field, so imagine 160 football fields planted in mint. An acre of mint produces about 76 pounds of oil.

Chances are that you use a product made with mint every day in things like toothpaste, mouthwash, breath mints, chewing gum, candies, teas, ice cream, desserts, essential oils, medicine, lotions, shampoos, cocktails, and sauces for meat dishes.

Mint is a great source of antioxidants, is an anti-inflammatory, and contains Vitamins C, D, E, and A which improve the immune system. Mint has been found to help relieve indigestion, reduce cold symptoms, manage stress, improve allergy symptoms, and keep the mouth healthy because of its antibacterial properties.

Mint loves warm days and cool nights. It needs a lot of water, heat, and nitrogen to grow. The heat is what makes the plants create the oil, which is stored in glands on the underside of the peppermint and spearmint leaves. The Marbles grow peppermint and Scotch & Native spearmint varieties.

Good mint requires special care to ensure top quality oil. Plants are monitored to determine the prime time to harvest. Mint used for toothpaste is harvested before the plant flowers. Mint used for mouthwash is harvested after the plant blossoms. 

A hard rainstorm just before harvest can wash all the oil from the mint leaves and can destroy a whole crop, while leaving the crop in the field too long can result in the loss of leaf oil.

Mint is planted with roots, not seeds. Individual roots are planted with generous amounts of water.

Lisa warns, “Don’t plant mint in your garden because it’s an invasive plant and will take over the entire area.” She recommends planting mint in containers.

After the first year, mint produces what are called “nuclear roots”. Farmers pull those roots and plant them in another field. This is called planting first generation mint roots.

Mint is a rotation crop, which means that every four to five years, the mint is taken out of the field and something else is planted there so the soil stays nutrient rich.

When mint grows it looks like hay but has longer vines. The oil is found in the leaves and is easily identified by its aroma when entering a field.

Lisa’s favorite job on the farm is driving the windrower, which is a machine used to cut the mint “hay”. The smell of the mint in the tractor cab is like aroma therapy. Curtis’ favorite day on the farm, however, is when the harvest is finished.


The harvest season for mint is mid-June to late September, but it all depends on the location of the fields.

When the crops mature, windrowers mow swaths down the mint field, leaving mounded rows of “hay” or cut mint. The hay is left to dry in windrows for 12-24 hours.

The windrows are then picked up by a mechanical chopper. The mint is cut up into tiny pieces and blown into a sealed mint tub, which resembles a giant garbage bin on the back of a truck.


During the harvest season, the mint tub trucks roll steadily from the fields to Marble’s distillery, where pressurized steam shoots through the tubs, vaporizing the mint oil.

Each mint tub is connected to a steam line. Steam enters at the bottom and cooks the mint. As steam rises to the top, mint oil is turned into vapor form.

The oil vapors and steam pass through a line at the top of the tubs to water-cooled condensers, where they return to a liquid in the form of water or mint oil.

In pyramid-shaped separators the mint oil rises to the top and is drawn into huge drums. The filled drums are then ready for shipment to the buyers.

After the mint is cooked and the oil is extracted, the byproduct is called “mint plug”. It can be worked back into the fields to help build up the nutrients in the soil.

Life Lessons on the Farm

The farming experience teaches what can’t be understood from books. Dealing with forces beyond your control, facing crushing disappointments, and surviving costly mistakes all take courage, resolve, and strength of character. Grit becomes part of who farmers are.

Curtis recognizes that he has learned the quality of patience, not only in his agricultural endeavors but in his personal relationships as well. He’s made mistakes and has learned from them. He’s patient in letting others make their mistakes and growing from them as well.

Lisa admires Curtis’ prudent nature, “Curtis does a good job at living within our means. His father taught him, ‘You can’t borrow yourself out of debt and you can’t spend your way into prosperity.’ So, if Curtis needs to fix a tractor, I see him out in the shed welding something until he produces the needed part to fix the tractor.”

Each day is filled with something new on the farm. Whether it’s new crops or new problems springing up, the Marbles have learned to face farm life together with gratitude, hope, and a lot of hard work.  Marbles and Mint – how refreshing!