Van­dals tar­get com­mu­nity gar­den

Crops pulled up, flow­ers de­stroyed

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Front Page - BY SAMAN­THA GAR­DINER Saman­tha.gar­diner@ad­ver­tis­

Stolen veg­eta­bles and torn up gar­den beds in Grand Falls-Wind­sor com­mu­nity gar­den.

It ap­pears some­one has been har­vest­ing crops, with­out per­mis­sion, from the com­mu­nity gar­den in Grand Falls-Wind­sor.

Over the last few weeks gar­den­ers who have beds in the com­mu­nity gar­den have no­ticed some of their crop has been dis­ap­pear­ing.

Ini­tially it ap­peared peo­ple were tak­ing only food and the group sus­pected it might be some­one who was in need of fresh veg­eta­bles but un­able to af­ford them.

“When I first seen it I fig­ured it was just some­body who needed food,” said Daniel Corbin, who has a plot in the gar­den. “They’re going around tak­ing cab­bages, car­rots, pota­toes and stuff so I fig­ured now it’s got to be some­one pretty des­per­ate for food, so we kind of turned a blind eye to it at first.”

In light of this sus­pi­cion they placed a sign at the com­mu­nity gar­den ask­ing any­one who needed to food to call a listed num­ber, rather than pulling the plants from the beds.

“What they were do­ing was pulling things up and if they didn’t like them putting them back,” said Corbin.

“It was also very care­ful,” added Mar­garet Scot, chair­per­son of the com­mu­nity gar­den. “One guy had two cab­bages and they took the largest one, they took the largest car­rots they could find, they took toma­toes . . . it was like they shopped in the gar­den.”

Corbin grows pota­toes and sun­flow­ers with his nine-yearold son. One day he no­ticed that some of his pota­toes were up­rooted but left there to rot.

Corbin de­cided to har­vest most of his pota­toes, rather than be left with for the money and time he put into the gar­den this sum­mer.

It was un­for­tu­nate to have to do this, he said, be­cause “pota­toes you want to leave them in as long as pos­si­ble. The fact that I had to haul them up sooner they were smaller and not half as many, but at least I got some­thing out of it.”

Scott added that who­ever is re­spon­si­ble for the dam­age to the gar­den, must not have an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the work of oth­ers.

“They don’t re­al­ize that each bed be­longs to a per­son who has sat there and said what am I going to plant and has looked for­ward to watch­ing some­thing grow.”

“There’s ex­cite­ment when you start to grow your own food, its re­ally in­cred­i­ble,” added Scott. “For many peo­ple it’s just taken all their pride and their plea­sure out of ev­ery­thing that they’ve done this sum­mer.”

Hav­ing crops pulled up was bad enough, but lately the gar­den­ers no­ticed the dam­age be­com­ing a lit­tle more ma­li­cious.

On a re­cent visit to at­tend his gar­den Corbin no­ticed the sun­flow­ers his son planted and waited all sea­son to grow had the heads cut off of them.

“He was mad when he saw some­one cut off the head of his sun­flower be­cause he said that was his nicest flower,” Corbin said.

Corbin filed a com­plaint with the lo­cal RCMP. He says they as­sured they would keep an eye on the com­mu­nity gar­den when they are in the area.

The group is also looking into the cost of get­ting the light pole in­stalled in the area to, hope­fully, deter the van­dal­ism.

The sim­plest so­lu­tion, added Scott, would be for the peo­ple who are do­ing this to just stop it.

“I wish this per­son or these peo­ple, who­ever is do­ing this would stop.”

“We have so many peo­ple who get so much plea­sure from this. It’s a com­mu­nity-build­ing ven­ture from our point of view, and some of the food they’re tak­ing is food we had des­ig­nated for the com­mu­nity kitchen at St Joseph’s (church). If some­body wants to par­tic­i­pate let us know we’ll be adding bed next year and if they can’t af­ford we’ll help them.”

“We have so many dif­fer­ent ages and abil­i­ties in­volved in this gar­den. Every­body has a dif­fer­ent rea­son for plant­ing but when this theft hap­pens they’re not just tak­ing a veg­etable they’re tak­ing a dream and that’s the hard­est part.”


Com­mu­nity Gar­den in Grand Falls-Wind­sor

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