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Growing in the City: Garden Theft & Garden Love

This morning we experienced the low point of growing food in the city, as our intern saw a few men walking away with handfuls of our garlic, which is about five months old.

We haven't had much produce theft so far, but it's always a little frustrating when it happens. I guess we don't have to worry about four legged produce thieves like deer and rodents though! Mostly it's just been curious kids or neighbors pulling up a beet here or there or taking a tomato or two.

We really don't want a fence, as that defeats the whole idea of growing a garden and sharing food inside the city.

Right now we are starting a small fruit orchard along one side of the lot that will serve as a living fence. Hopefully tomorrow I will start building a flower bed along the front of the rows that go up to the sidewalk, so they are less tempting for people walking by. I won't mind as much if people trim a flower or two!

If you grow in the city, how do you deal with the issue of garden theft?

I posted more about our interaction with our neighbors and the interesting mix of garden theft & garden love here: http://www.baltimorediy.org/2012/04/today-on-boone-street-one-good-...

Views: 221

Tags: baltimore, garden, theft, urban

Comment by Rachel Hoff on April 17, 2012 at 9:48am

Our front yard has a 3' fence around it so people generally stay away. The driveway gate is usually open but no one really ever comes into our yard. We also mostly grow edible shrubs and ground covers and since most people are wary of eating berries they aren't familiar with it's even less of an issue. We had considered having a front yard garden to feed the neighborhood but then realized that encouraging people to hang around our property probably wasn't such a great idea in terms of safety and liability. 

Comment by Kristen on April 17, 2012 at 10:02am

We're trying out the idea of having communal garden beds, open to the public, that people are encouraged to come in and pick from -- hoping this will result in less theft from garden members' plots. 

Comment by Aliza Ess on April 17, 2012 at 4:12pm

Yes, it's definitely a delicate balance between sharing with anyone who needs it, and encouraging people to take all the free stuff they want :) I love hearing all the feedback about people's experiments with this. It's definitely an interesting issue as gardens continue to bloom in populated ares.

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