Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a cat person to get some use out of this week’s fresh herb from KMK Farms in Kingsburg. Catnip, also called catswort, cat mint, and field balm is an herb in the mint family. You can likely see the resemblance in the leaf shape and texture.
While catnip excites cats, it has the opposite effect on humans. Like chamomile, catnip has a calming effect and can be used to make a sleepy-time tea. The stalks and stems can also be used as a spice to flavor soups. But, if you don’t want to deprive your kitty, you can also dry this week’s catnip and stitch it into a scrap of fabric for a DIY, CSA-style, organic cat toy.
To make catnip tea, add one teaspoon of dried catnip leaves or three to four teaspoons of fresh catnip leaves to a mug of boiling water and let it steep. You can also add other herbs or honey to give the tea a different flavor.
Store your catnip as you would other fresh herbs, in a plastic bag or standing in a glass of water like flowers in the fridge, or in a hanging bundle, left to dry in a cool dark place.