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Re: fences and theft

One of the requirements I had in relocating our community garden a year ago was to have a 6' high chain link fence emcompasssing the garden because of its new location (low income / high crime area).  If you view many of the CGs on the internet (see ACGA Links page), you will notice one common element, a fence.  Even the popular CCG in NYC has a fence to keep the pidgeon lady and other undesirables out.  They do have a couple thousand keyholders who have access to the garden.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but I understand most of the stealing taking place in the typical CG (rented plots) are normally by its own renters not by outsiders.  Outsiders normally engaged in vandalism.  A few years ago, after one wild Friday night, I found a few of our scarecrows torched.  Teenagers sometimes get bored during the summertime. Stealing of vegetables is normally an inside job in the typical CG. 

At our old garden location which was not fenced off, I have caught some of the most unlikely folks pertaking in our harvest.  One drove a car with a personalized license tag, another was driving a Caddie, a few were city personnel who happened to stop by to pick a few tomatoes. 

As far as correcting your problem, I can't see it being resolved without a fence protecting the garden, a garden caretaker (someone living next to the garden who will watch over it) or an effort by its gardeners to conduct a "Garden Watch" type program. 

Hope this helps,  Jim 

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Neufeld" <apneufeld@telus.net>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 08:52:59 -0700

>Hi all,
>Our garden is in a school ground, in a low-income neighbourhood and most of the gardeners have experienced the frustration of things being stolen out of their plots.  In the last week, one of the gardeners installed a nearly 6-foot tall chain-link fence with a locked gate around their plot.  Now I completely understand and sympathize with the feelings that caused this gardener to take such action, but the fact remains that the new fence feels out of place in a community garden.  The gardeners have discussed this problem of theft many times before, but never has this been seen as the right kind of solution.
>2 questions: first, do any community gardens have rules about fences around plots?  second, can you share your creative and effective solutions for dealing with theft?
>Paul Neufeld

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