Its been a disheartening week as I hear about the agricultural theft of 5000 pounds of potatoes in a community just a short drive away and more theft of food from the Terra Nova Sharing Farm. Its now happened to the Ladner Community Garden and I must say we are angry. We have had reports of vegetable theft over the last few weeks. Its has been quite discouraging for our new gardeners as they baby their peppers until they are almost ready to harvest only to have them picked by a stranger. At first we figured it was just an isolated incident until a member spotted someone shopping with empty bags in hand. Its only a matter of time before we get a photo of this person but for now, I hope they are enjoying the fruits of our labour. Last night I went to harvest beans for the food bank only to see a measly four beans on the vines. We had only harvested a few pounds the week before and knew more would be ready for this weeks harvest. Luckily I had an allotment holder donate 16 pounds of beets, a zucchini and some carrots so we had something to donate.
I hate to totally fence the community garden but that's whats probably going to happen. We like to encourage people to walk and enjoy the garden. Its sad that a few people spoil it for so many.
On a positive note, the food bank is always happy to get donations of fresh food.
The beets were huge and will be great roasted or in soups.
Thanks to Gord for donating the vegetables before he leaves on holiday. Our total for this week was 24.5 pounds of food donated.
Going forward we may have to think up some planting strategies for next year. No one takes kale or white carrots so perhaps a border of that will hide the more lucrative vegetables. Even a border of parsley would work.
Have you had theft in your gardens? How did you resolve the issue? I know in Chicago the community gardens are fenced and padlocked. Every Sunday they put out a table of free food for the taking, no questions asked. Is this the solution? We would be more than happy to help out someone who really needs food. That's what we do. Gardeners love to share their harvest but ask first.