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Fencing, theft & vandalism

  • Subject: [cg] Fencing, theft & vandalism
  • From: "Sally McCabe" SMcCabe@Pennhort.org
  • Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 15:40:54 -0400
  • Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-index: AcXZhaP1KZBqNbDMSmCAaizpPLa0pgADjZuA
  • Thread-topic: Fencing, theft & vandalism

Here in Philadelphia we've used every different variation of the fence
idea over time, and one theme has always emerged. Fences are smoke and
mirrors--they're there to mark boundaries--they keep honest people
honest, and keep out dogs and small children. Nothing short of landmines
will keep out a determined thief who wants your tomatoes.

Seedy Acres vegetable garden for 20+ years had a 5-ft turkeywire fence
and sometimes locked gate, and suffered periodic break-ins from
neighborhood kids turning over rocks to hunt snakes and throwing
tomatoes.  It now has an always-locked  fake-wrought-iron fence which is
rigid and easy to climb, and still suffers periodic break-ins from
neighborhood kids turning over rocks to hunt snakes and throwing
tomatoes.  It is in a high-density residential area and has lots of foot
traffic past it at all hours.  Keeping the gate locked at all times
tends to make for less snake-hunters, but nothing keeps out the
hard-core tomato-throwers.

Roots Garden has a wood/wire fence, is located in a neighborhood park,
and has lots of kid & foot traffic. When the gate is kept locked,
there's tremendous vandalism to the gate & fence. After we didn't
replace the fourth destroyed gate/lock, the vandalism stopped. Go
figure.  Tomatoes and fruit still walk, but I've learned over the years
that, with a few notable exceptions, most theft of produce is an
internal matter.

Other gardens have gotten away with post & rail fence, but this works
best with ornamental gardens, especially with more generic ornamentals.
Little xmas-tree-like shrubs will walk even over a 10-ft chainlink fence
with razor-wire.

Tall fences, especially stockade fences, especially NEW fences, give the
impression that you have something to hide, ie., something worth

Community relations is EVERYTHING. Vandalism happens whether you have a
fence or not. If somebody wants to destroy your garden, they'll destroy
your garden. If you have a fence, they'll just wreck that first.

Sally McCabe

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