How Floral Encounters Produces Catnip
We grow all our own catnip on a small organic farm in New Jersey. This provides sufficient cold weather in the winter to stimulate the high production of active compounds and also allows for a warm growing season for the plants. We use no chemicals or pesticides on our farm AT ALL ever. Nothing on our farm gets sprayed. We use good organic soil and vegetable fertilizer only.
All our catnip harvesting is done by hand at late Stage 1 and Stage 2. While we will cut down the whole plant we collect only the material that is good quality and we deem suitable for sale. All other material is sorted and discarded at this point.
All our catnip processing is done by hand. A real person goes through each piece of catnip by hand and strips the leaves from the stems. Any unwanted or unsuitable leaves that were missed during harvesting are now discarded along with the stems.
After the leaves have been removed from the stems all our catnip is washed thoroughly. This ensure that any unwanted material, such as bird or insect poop, whole insects and any other unwanted material is cleaned away. The catnip is then spun dry to remove as much water as possible. MOST CATNIP SELLERS DO NOT WASH THEIR CATNIP.
Our catnip is dehydrated rather than dried. We use very low heat almost cool air blown over the catnip leaves to gently dry the material and ensure that the maximum amount of active compounds including nepetalactone are held within the leaves. Our drying is carried out in the dark to ensure that there is no bleaching out of the leaves. Often producers will hang catnip in greenhouses or use solar dryers for material which can bleach out the leaves and destroy the active compounds. Drying in the dark ensures that this does not happen.
We store all our catnip is large sealed bins to ensure that the fluffy nature of the leaves is retained and prevent air from destroying the active compounds. These containers are stored in a cool dark area that ensures the freshness of the material for as long as possible. Most growers just dry their catnip and then store in tubs or plastic bags which immediately begins to degrade the quality of the active compounds.
We package our catnip when it is ordered. Until that time the catnip remains in the sealed bins in a cool dry area and only when requested is it removed and packaged for the buyer. We package all our whole leaf catnip in rigid transparent plastic containers. Catnip morsels are stored in airtight tins as it catnip tea. While we would prefer to package all our catnip in tins the price makes this rather prohibitive.
We do everything we possibly can to create a premium quality product that contains only the best leaves, washed, graded, dehydrated and stored in the best possible manner to ensure you have the best most rewarding experience with our catnip products.
OTHER CATNIP INFORMATION
|Janice Hazeldine PhD is the owner and head grower of Floral Encounters an organic Medicinal Herb farm that is also a designated sanctuary for pollinators.|