Wednesday, June 13

blargh: sometimes people just suck

Signs we made and posted after several incidents.
I was on a waitlist for almost one year before getting the call that a new community garden will be set-up near my home. It's a plot that Bryce and I built from scratch. The community garden build was during an unusually warm September. On three afternoons during a heatwave, we built the frames, loaded the wheelbarrow with soil using a shovel, and hauled soil back and forth. One heavy load of dirt at a time.

This is the first year that I grew everything from seed. I invested in a pantry rack, heating mats, seed starting soil, grow lights, and everything else needed. I bought seeds from reputable sources and bought only open-pollinated, GMO free seeds. I was excited about everything. Every new growth and every change in that growth was documented and stared upon in awe for a few minutes too long. I created and stuck to a strict schedule to ensure I do not forget anything. I had a spreadsheet!

I fully understand that gardening has just as much disappointment as moments of joy, pride, and accomplishments. I've prepared myself for the disappointment when a seed doesn't grow or when a seedling doesn't transplant well. I know some plants may not bear as much fruit as I anticipate. I know critters may dig up or eat my plants. But I completely forgot to take into account that sometimes people just suck.

Our community garden is tucked away in a small park at a residential neighbourhood. There isn't much traffic and only those who live in the area would even know of its existence. There is a large sign posted at the entrance, as well as smaller laminated signs, proclaiming that all plants are owned and are grown by their respective plot owners. And yet every few weeks when I speak to plot mates, I find that they too have had some leaves cut haphazardly, fruits picked, plant support, or misc. items in their garden stolen. It's heartbreaking.

Signage posted throughout the garden.

As for my plot, I've had garlic shoots cut, root veggies pulled, my row cover box (a mesh drawer I hand-stitched a row cover over to use for newly transplanted seedlings and for salads) stolen, and most recently had four plants dug up. We've also had plants trampled and destroyed by dogs--evident by large paw prints left behind. It makes me upset every time.

I'm trying to set aside some money so I can build fencing around my plot. If you have any great DIY ideas (read: cheap) for a fence, or if you have dealt with garden thieves, let me know!

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