When I lived with my wife in small-town Missouri in the 90’s, I tended a big garden where I grew edible yummies: snap peas, string beans, tomatoes, onions, southwestern chilies and Silver Queen corn – the works. I loved picking the corn and running it straight indoors to the boiling kettle on the stove. During one of my periodic telephone garden reports to my Pop, he once kidded me that he had half-expected me to say that I had taken the boiling kettle outside to the garden so as to reduce the ‘pick-to-pot’ time so that the sugars of corn ears wouldn’t turn as quickly to starch. As a meticulous gardener, over the years I amended the soil with gypsum, sand and compost, ogling the tilth like John Deere himself and fretting over slugs, cucumber beetles and aphids.
The small town gardener has only one potential problem associated with tending lovely soil: feral cats love to shit in it. After doing so they then scratch up the soil surface — along with recently planted seeds and seedlings – entire rows of carrots, destroyed. Have you ever planted a carrot seed? It’s no more than a fleck of dust under a thin film of sifted soil. One cat swipe buries those tiny seeds too deep for the sprouts to ever surface.Continue Reading