In the Annals of ‘Boooo!’: Tomato Thieves Abound in the City’s Community Gardens


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.

Who knew?

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.