Monday, July 30, 2012

Vandals Strike Community Garden

All gardeners experience it at some point.  You wake up in the morning and something has happened to one of your crops over night- the deer ate your beans, slugs ate your basil, your precious tomato plant snapped in half in the wind.  All that hard work down the drain.  With a sinking feeling, you make peace with what 'could have been' and move on.

I can only imagine what some families in my neighbourhood were feeling this morning to wake up to the vandalism that I saw at the Glen Gardens Community Garden on Glenforest Dr.  Broccoli plants were completely pulled and thrown on the ground. Trays and pots filled with maturing lettuce, peppers and beans were knocked over.  Tomato plants snapped in half with their fruit torn off and strewn about. Even one of the raised beds filled exclusively with flowers was picked through and completely damaged. How devastating!  Added to the cruelty of the act, is the fact that this garden is for people who are newly arrived to Canada. So sad! Not the greatest welcome to our country.

Since the garden seemingly popped up out of no-where one weekend back in May, I have been following it's progress with great interest (it was growing at a much faster rate than my own!).  It is located next to the bus stop I use to catch a lift to work.  Frequently I would run into a nice gentleman, who through many gestures, showed me his plot.  He didn't speak any English, but somehow he was able to communicate how proud he was of his garden.  I'm sure he had no idea that I have my own special interest in growing vegetables, but he definitely was a kindred spirit.  I wanted to tell him that I was impressed with how he interplanted his radishes with his tomato plants.

I would frequently see him and others in the morning, checking out how things were growing (as I do on a daily basis  with my own). Coming home at night, there is always someone out there working hard, lugging water from the apartment building nearby or weeding. 

As they showed me what happened, I could see the devastation in the faces of the gardeners who gathered to inspect the damage.  I thought about this vandalism all day at work and how cruel and thoughtless people can be.   I noticed on my way home from work that people were out cleaning up the damage and 'moving on'.  I took over one of my precious potted (and portable) pepper plants and some kale seedlings to give to them as a gesture.  Hopefully others in the area will do the same! 

Information:

http://www.isisns.ca/news/community-building-through-gardening/

Update:  July 31

The vandalism made the news today:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/122482-vandals-destroy-immigrants-community-garden





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