STEALING IS STEALING
Whether from a Grocery Store or a Community Garden
“Community” in the Garden refers to the community of the people who garden there--the ones who actually grow and take care of the plants--not the general public at large. Even members of the garden do not harvest from the plots of others.
The Garland Community Garden is there for the general public to enjoy and learn from observation--a peaceful and lovely place to visit. It is not there for the public to harvest the produce grown by the hard work of others.
The photo below is of a curly leaf Kale plant at the Garland Community Garden. Two days ago, it was a full and healthy plant. When kale is harvested, the gardener takes no more than 20% of the leaves from the bottom layer of the plant. The thief who chopped the leaves off this plant took about 90% of all its leaves. This puts the plant in severe stress and it likely will not survive. Even if it does, it will never be as healthy or productive as it once was. Curly leafed kale, if well-cared for can last for two years and produce lots of kale for many meals. This kale plant was only 6 months old. It was not the only kale plant that was stolen from. Another plant had about 50% of its leaves stolen and yet a third kale plant had about 30% of its leaves stolen.
As a result of this severe theft, we have decided to install surveillance cameras in the garden. Any videos of theft in action will be published for all to see--including the thieves’ friends and possible employers. The video will be identified for what it is--a theft in action.
Yes, food is expensive. Yes, there are many among us who are poor. We have food banks in our community to assist the poor and down on their luck such as the Good Samaritans of Garland--an organization that we donate 50% of our produce to. The Garland Community Garden is not set up to serve as a “come and pick our produce”. It is set up to serve as peaceful place to visit and also as a demonstration garden to show the public plants that grow well in our area. We are not set up for production for the public consumption. Those who come and harvest from our garden, as did the kale thief are vandals who destroy the beauty of the garden.