There are times I wish that I had a plot at our local community garden. One thing you miss out on when you garden alone is a sense of camaraderie. This is probably why I started my blog in the first place.
I recently read this rather interesting piece about the perils of gardening in a communal setting. Here's an excerpt:
Mr. Cruz was sitting on his stoop last summer when he noticed a couple of elderly women on hands and knees on the sidewalk clawing their way through the mesh to get at the chili peppers. They did not notice him swoop in for the bust. “Ladies, if you would only ask, I would gladly give you more than what you’re stealing,” he remembers telling them before he gave them a tour, and some peppers.
Can you imagine coming upon this scene! This brought back old memories of the neighborhood kids raiding my Dad's garden to steal baby eggplants to use as ammunition for their imagined urban turf war.
I will admit that I myself am guilty of such thievery. When I was in middle school, my friends and I spent one particularly hot summer roaming the streets of Northeast Philadelphia, creating a mental road map of all the neighborhood fruit trees. As the fruit ripened, we would converge onto the site like ninjas and raid the tree en masse in broad daylight. No chain-linked fence could keep us out; we were like the plague of hungry children. On the rare occasion we were caught, we'd scatter in all directions and later rendezvous at the park where we'd climb one of the giant pine trees, our hands and knees covered with sticky sap, and devour our haul under the shade of the massive canopy. I'm sure we pissed off a lot of neighbors that summer.
Dealing with groundhogs and field mice is one thing (I can buy a cage for that) but I don't know how I would handle thievery of the human sort, especially if the bandit is old enough to buy booze and cigarettes.
Pilfered Peppers in City Gardens; Tomatoes, Too - August 5, 2011, New York Times