Are you considering a garden this summer? Whether you use organic methods or conventional methods, attention to food safety from your backyard to your table is important. Reducing the risk of foodborne illness begins with preparing your garden for planting.
Like the adage in real estate: Location, Location, Location. Plant your garden away from septic systems, manure piles, garbage cans, or areas where wildlife, farm animals or pets roam. Human and animal waste may contain harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.
Gardeners use compost to improve the quality of soils. Animal, meat and dairy waste should not be used in compost bins. To learn how to protect the environment and improve garden soil with composting visit the Washington State University Extension Stewardship Gardening website or contact Master Gardeners at your local Extension office.