[Market-farming] Cats in the garden

Cherry Tree Farms ctfarms at helicon.net
Wed May 11 23:16:30 EDT 2005

Howdy Karin,

        In these parts there is not to be any fresh manure for 90 days before harvest, not sure if that is a state or national regulation.  We have been using chicken wire around our patches for triple duty:  the rabbits, cats, and our roaming chickens (the last 2 known as our IPM system).  The wire helps when folks stop by unexpectedly between market days, they feel better that their produce isn't getting soiled whether or not there is any actual difference (on the pathways to the garden all bets are off).  Keeps PDA happy too.  Maybe you will want to look into it, its got to beat the customer dis-satisfaction if something got sprayed by a tom marking territory and missed getting washed off or a similar disaster.

Good luck,
Cherry Tree Farms
Atop the Allegheny continental divide
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: HERBKDR at aol.com 
  To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 1:29 PM
  Subject: [Market-farming] Cats in the garden

  We have an "invisible to humans" sign at the end of our driveway that reads "all cats welcome!"  lol  Needless to say we have become the drop off point for many soon to be mothers. :(  We find homes, spay and neuter as money allows and always take good care of them.  Our "tribe" of 19 is feed and watered daily, has a warm and protected area to sleep and really enjoys our company even though they are semi-feral cats.  My problem is that the world is their kitty litter box!

  We normally grow only container herb plants and non edibles but this year I am venturing into heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers.  My question is...will the cat urine and feces harm my plants? And, will the fruits of my labor be toxic to humans if grown in a "kitty box" field?

  From the research I have managed to do the only thing I see is the possibility of Toxoplasmosis.  The onyl info I can glean is that pregnant women should not be in contact with the soil.  No problem with that at this farm! lol  But will it affect the vegetables and pass it on to humans?

  Sorry for being so long winded, but I want to make sure I don't harm anyone.
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