Thursday, August 27, 2009

SACG Welcomes Cats to Our Garden

Visitors to the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden are likely to notice that there are a lot of cats who live in our neighborhood. The very first time I visited the snow-covered Garden in February with Farmer Bill, a black kitten tried to adopt me. When we broke ground on the Garden on April 18, a mother kitty was moving her kittens from the building next door (presumably because we made so much noise). Many of the neighbors have two or more cats in their household.

Some of the cats like to sneak under the Garden gates and sleep in the relative safety of the Garden - particularly in my corn or under Alysha's tomato cages.

The Dispatch ran an article this week about how to keep cats out of your garden. I can sympathize because my own cats like to sleep on flat dirt and don't really care about my seedlings which they end up crushing during their cat naps. They've also turned some garden beds into litter boxes. However, at Stoddart, so we haven't had any unpleasant "surprises" in the Garden and we welcome the cats (which presumably keep down the rodent and bird population). Although they like to hunt butterflies, they also hunt pesky grasshoppers.

One kitten in particular lives next door and is unusually friendly. She loves to be petted -- even by children. Alysha's daughter, Sarah, even lies down with the kitten in the shade. She (the kitten) cries when she is not receiving our undivided attention. Very cute. It followed me around when I mowed grass on Saturday. Another beautiful black-and-white tuxedo cat spends a lot of time with us, too.

Last night, while I was watering our pumpkins, I heard someone ask if I was the Garden Manager. I looked up and found my friend Mary from Louisville. She had been in town on business and surprised me by showing up at the Garden unannounced. (Mary was the one who had the idea for the pumpkin patch). I showed her around the SACG and the Bexley Community Garden and she was duly impressed with what we had accomplished in just a few months. Like everyone else, she fellin love with Alysha's crazy tomatoes (and grows crazy heirloom tomatoes of her own in Louisville). I would list the names (if I remembered them), but some of them are obscene:)

Alysha brought Max and the irrepressible Norah with her last night to help water and harvest. (This can be a race this time of year with it getting darker earlier and earlier each night and we have only received 1/2 inch of rain for the entire month of August). As you can see from the pictures, Norah really enjoys her mother's garden plot at the SACG.

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