Last days of gardening

Normally, I don’t like to swear, but ARRGGHHH…. and #$@##!!!


   The last day for gardeners to work in their city-leased plots in Cedar Rapids is Sunday, Oct. 19, but that isn’t what got me riled.

   Parks workers will begin tilling garden plots at Tuma, Ellis and Squaw Creek parks on Monday, Oct. 20.  All produce, stakes, wire and plant ties must be removed by Sunday.


    It’s always sad to see the end of the gardening season, but it’s even more upsetting to have something taken by garden thieves.

    That’s what I discovered last night at my city-leased garden. Someone had taken every single one of the cabbage heads that I had planned to pick last night. The Grinch didn’t leave a single one! It was clear that it wasn’t a hungry critter by the clean knife slices on each of the plants; plus, at least the wildlife doesn’t hog everything, as this person did.


   I don’t mind sharing my veggies. In fact, I get the greatest sense of satisfaction in doing just that when I can donate to our local food pantries. But having someone take something without asking is low. I know it happens occasionally at some gardens and quite often at others.  It’s happened to us before, with sunflower heads and pumpkins, but cabbage??? And even though I doubt the thieves will be reading this, I have some suggestions for them.


1)      Ask first! There’s a good chance that many gardeners will gladly give you what you need.

2)      Don’t take everything. Chances are, I wouldn’t have missed a few heads of cabbage, or tomatoes or whatever else has been taken. But to steal everything is downright greedy.

3)      Change your ways! Click on the food pantries tab on this blog and find a place to donate those vegetables you took.



   A final thought: since some gardeners do abandon their plots before the final day of the season, there is likely good produce that goes to waste. Perhaps the Cedar Rapids Parks Department could allow “open harvesting” on the day after the gardeners have to leave.

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Grace said,

    I really liked your iidea of an “open harvesting day” Like you, I don’t mind sharing, and if I have more foods in my garden (or even flowers) than I can use, it would be nice to have others share the bounty — but with permission, not like your “night visitors” did to you. I only hope your cabbages were put to good use, and not just destroyed for the fun of it!

    I don’t garden in a “public” or “shared” garden, but have had things taken from my yard (notably little ceramic animal ornaments) and I was hurt that someone evidently thought “if there’s no fence around it, it’s open for all”. On the other hand, I also had someone drop off another little ceramic ornament, possibly thinking it had been mine before their child or dog (I hope) took it to their house. I admit that I “adopted” it, and put a note on the community mail boxes to tell the owner I had it. Several months later, a neighbor who came over to help me with a small eliectrical problem saw it, and said”where did you get that?! My daughter painted it and it disappeared from our yard months ago!?” I was glad to find the owner, and to know it was someone who appreciated it.

  2. 2

    iowafoodgeek said,

    What a fabulous idea…there should definately be an “open harvest” day. Especially considering what our town went through this summer. I wonder if the person who took your cabbages thought it was close enough to winter that you were gone for the year…I hate to think that anyone was either that hungry or that greedy!

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