The pride and perils of a community garden plot. We have been community gardening now for over 30 years because we don't have room for a garden at our house.
My raised bed (I can have this due to back problems which make in ground gardening painful). My spouse has his own in ground plot.
Our gardening season for 2020 has ended, but the planning for the 2021 season has begun. Sadly, one of the first items that has to be addressed was theft problems - we were one of several gardeners that were victimized by this theft. I know at least one person was caught. It wasn't what you might think in this pandemic - someone hungry, someone who had lost his or her job.
The organization that runs our garden now, VINES, works to bring "a sustainable and just community food system". They had tried to put out veggies in "take it" baskets in hopes of discouraging the theft if it was someone hungry or needful.
VINES also offers "scholarships" so needy don't have to pay the $25 fee for a plot.
No, I've been told the person caught stealing was an enterprising fellow who thought he would resell the crops we worked so hard to grow.
Here's the garden in 2018: this is just a fraction of the total community garden space. In 2020, we had 95 gardeners.
Hence, Plan B. We met virtually today to discuss construction of a fence (which will have locked gates both trucks and people can pass through if they have the code) to discourage theft. It can be built in a certain way that it will also discourage animal pests - sadly it won't be high enough to deter deer (which ate most of our beans) and won't extend under the ground.
It appears our membership will be approving construction of the fence. The best part is; VINES was able to get funding for materials. Some of the labor will have to be volunteer.
The theft has been an ongoing issue but this year was the worst ever.
But happier thoughts are ahead - it's time to dream, as the seed catalogs are starting to trickle in.
We can only hope for a better 2021.