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Lettuce Thief on the Loose!

by Prince Of Petworth December 28, 2015 at 1:05 pm 17 Comments


A reader reports from the Bruce Monroe Community Garden:

“Friday: My lettuce is doing so well! It’s almost time to harvest it. Maybe just a couple more days.


Saturday: Half my lettuce is gone! It’s been stolen! I should go home and grab a bag and then harvest the rest of the lettuce now. Or tomorrow.


Sunday: My lettuce is nearly ALL gone!!!! There is a lettuce thief! That is soo not cool. Wish I had returned on Saturday to harvest the rest myself. I was so looking forward to the fruits (veggies) of my labor. The trials and tribulations of an urban garden without a fence.”

  • Josh

    Rabbits? Have anyone else’s nearby greens suffered this same fate?

    • Jessica

      I’m not a gardener, but I don’t think rabbits pull whole plants up by the roots…

      • Nonna

        FWIW, I had pretty much all my veggies ripped out by squirrels (or giant rats???) this year. Carrots, cauliflower, even some herbs. And yes, some of them were ripped out root and all. This was in my private backyard.

      • Near Northeast

        I am a gardener and can report that, yes, they will.

      • spookiness


  • I Dont Get It

    I think you should go on and harvest the rest and quit while you are ahead (bad pun intended). Seriously, that sucks!

  • backintown

    Ha! I am so glad BMCG finally made it to PoP. I’ve been a member of the garden for years and the annual listserve drama is always entertaining. I want to make a community garden sitcom about it.

    • Nonna

      It’s so good. I quit the garden a few years ago due to the theft issue. I’m still on the listserv though and it is pretty funny to watch everyone re-hash the same issue every year. I would watch that show!

      • I Dont Get It

        Don’t tease us like that!!! In 30 words or less what issue do the re-hash?

        • textdoc

          I too want to know! We need a summary of the listserve drama.

          • Nonna

            EVERY year there’s a huge argument about whether or not to put up a fence with a lock. People go into that garden and RAID during peak season, it’s such a joke. Though I guess if the city is going to get rid of the park it doesn’t really matter anyway.

          • backintown

            Yep, the annual issue is fence vs. no fence. Which would be fine, except then the arguments devolve into drawn-out discussions of the tragedy of the commons, people cite actual academic sources as if they are writing dissertations, eventually somehow police brutality and “if you had CHILDREN you wouldn’t feel that way!” are mentioned… Then people get angry about the theft, leave the garden, new people join, and the argument begins again the next year.

            I was actualyl anti-fence for a long time (occasional theft didn’t bother me as my plot was more of a casual hobby to me), but now, if the garden was to be permanent, I’d want one. BUT as Nonna mentioned the park will soon be gone so, eh. I’ve gotten on waiting lists for other gardens.

  • HIll Easter

    How frustrating! It won’t stop theft…but there is a house at 18 and D ish NE that has a lovely garden in the front yard – along with a clever sign warning ppl not to steal their dinner and that they are being recorded. No idea if it works or not, but it makes me chuckle when I see it!

  • Rdizzle

    Do yourself a favor and find a garden with a fence – was a member for years and just quit this year due to theft. There are folks who will let you plant in their private yards, if you share the harvest. You will never have a harvest at this place – from kids stomping your veggies, using them as baseballs, the community coming in with garbage bags and picking from every plot (the garden has shared plots for the community to chose from, but nope).
    Same story every year and no action. I wish I didn’t unsubscribe from the listserv – I had to though, one member who made himself a leader would yell at us via email in all ALL CAPS. That listserv is the BEST, actual garden leadership the WORST.

  • 13thandV

    When I lived in a townhouse near U St., I had this EXACT SCENARIO every time tomatoes ripened on my vine. Friday: Almost! Saturday: Can’t wait! Sunday: Allllllmost there! Monday: WHAT THE EVERLOVING ….!

    It was rats. Gross and annoying, but at least my faith in humanity could remain (relatively) intact.

  • Jondo

    Opossums, raccoons, and rats. Literally no one in this city cares about your lettuce besides them, you honestly think a person is stealing your veggies?? Wow

    • Anon

      Sorry, but you REALLY don’t what goes on in this garden space.


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