Vandals target community garden
Crops pulled up, flowers destroyed
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