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Locks on garden gates

We have two 30+ plot community gardens here in southeastern Idaho. One of
them is situated in an area with many small apartments and quite a few
unsupervised young children. Tha gardeners are complaining that even though
we fenced the garden this summer  (4' chain link to be planted with grapes
and other vining perennials) it is not sufficient to keep the children out
and they are taking veggies or just pulling up things and leaving them. It
is not a big problem but certainly an irritant to the gardeners who have
proposed putting locks on all the garden gates. The suggestion was made that
the gardeners approach the parents of the relatively small group of small
'offenders' but they feel that since the apartment population is so
transient they would constantly be policing the situation. The gardeners
have tried talking to the children and telling them that the gardens belong
to the people who work them and that if they ask the individual gardeners
most would probably be happy too share but that it makes the gardners mad
when they just come and take stuff - no effect on the problem so far.  I am
hoping that other gardens/gardenrs who have experienced similar problems may
have come up with creative solutions that might avoid the need for a
'lock-out'.  Any feedback  would be appreciated as the Board is trying to
help the gardeners come up with the best possible solution.

Kind Regards,
Kristi Appelhans
Idaho Falls Community Garden Association 
(208) 522 3244

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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