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Garden greed

(article, Culinate staff)

As a local story in the New York Times pointed out last weekend, the ripening of summertime crops in community gardens has also meant growth in the garden-theft department. Some thieves are fellow gardeners, while some are strangers, lifting not just plump produce but entire plants. Reactions vary, from frustration and anger to stoicism and creativity: 

bq. Garden theft is by no means unique to New York. In 2007, David Tracey, a Vancouver journalist and environmental designer, published “Guerrilla Gardening, a Manualfesto.” Tips from the book appear on Ecolife, a Web site devoted to green living. He says yellow tomatoes are less enticing than red ones; protective fencing and belligerent signs are acceptable; and hiding desirable fruits like raspberries behind beets or parsnips is smart strategy. He also has a Zen-like attitude to dealing with stealing. “Invent some better scenario,” he wrote, “where the stolen food somehow ends up in the stomachs of people who need it.”  

For a longer look at guerrilla gardening, check out Guerrilla Gardening, where the movement to beautify spaces with green things (and occasionally prevent theft) hangs out.