One of the best lines in the New York Times article on people who pilfer from the 700 community gardens in the city is this one:
I know that people who garden in the country have trouble with squirrels and deer and turkeys; here in our neighborhood, we have old ladies.They’re the culprit.
Stealing from community gardens is rampant, it would appear. Most of it seems harmless enough — grazing, as it were — while some thefts are downright insidious. Last year, all the figs from a West Side garden were taken. In the East Village, every single pepper was stolen. A woman was caught red-handed helping herself to honeysuckle blooms because “it was cheaper than buying them in Chinatown.” Egads!
We like one herb grower’s solution: an angry sign that reads, “Dear Plant Thief: If I catch you stealing my plants, I will boil you alive in a cauldron filled with poison ivy and stinging nettles until your flesh falls off your bones!”
Ah, there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned community garden flaying to bless the midsummer harvest.