On May 22 of this year someone came and stripped 95% of the leaves off two kale plans in my plot at the garden.  One hundred percent of all the produce grown in my plot goes to the Good Samaritans.  The problem with taking so many leaves from one plant is that it stresses the plant and often kills it.  Kale, if you take care of it, can produce leaves for up to 18 months or more.  It took the plant on the left almost two months to recover.  During that time, we did not harvest from it for the Good Samaritans. Almost two months means approximately 20 servings of kale from that one plant were not delivered to people who needed it.

Yesterday, in between 2 and 7 PM we believe that same thief came to the garden and did it again as you can see from the plant on the right.  This person knew what they were doing.  We have bricks in the pots that read “Do not steal this kale.”  They knew and apparently didn’t care.

This is more than taking food, this is willful destruction of plants in the community garden--in other words, property that does not belong to them.  I don’t know if this is a punishable misdemeanor or not, but we are checking into that.  It’s one thing to steal a tomato (and not a good thing) but it is quite another to destroy a plant, and/or hamper its productivity for two months.

The produce from a community garden does not belong to the public.  The public may come to the garden and enjoy it, but the produce belongs to the people who come out in the heat to garden and tend these plants.  Visitors are not to harvest—not produce, not seeds from the plants and not cuttings.  And in the case of the Garland Community Garden, we give 50% of our produce to the Good Samaritans of Garland.

If you have any knowledge of who is doing this, please leave a message at the website.  Thank you.

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