Today was harvest day for the catnip and the hyssop in the SFA herb plot. Catnip is at its most potent when its flowering, and its been flowering here for about 5 days. We are going to dry it down and try it out on Maria, our farm cat. One thing I noticed was how woody the stems were on this catnip. I wasn’t expecting that. I used a corn knife to harvest a couple of plants from our plot. I would guess that in large quantities, a sickle mower, or haybine leaving a wide windrow would be more appropriate. I also left a few plants in tact to see what saving seed would look like from these.
Hyssop is harvested during flowering to locking the maximum oil content in the leaves and stems. This too needs to be dried before using. Again, in a small demonstration situation like the SFA herb plot, I just used a household scissors. The new stems were soft enough, but if I tried to cut too close to the ground, the stems were woody and the scissors wasn’t the best for the job.
We’ll have these bundles on display at the Herb Plot Field Day Oct. 7, 2016. More details to follow.