The Case of the Missing Cucumbers....

I take my garden very seriously. I only use organic fertilizers, no pesticides or herbicides, and I weed and check on it almost every day. So it's no surprise that people often come and talk to me in the garden. I happen to be there a lot.

But when people start talking about wanting to eat things out of my garden, I get defensive. A little much? Well, that's the truth. So when a neighbor asked if he could have "a few" tomatoes out of my garden, I did all I could not to make a mad face. My husband says you can read my emotions on my face, so I tried my absolute best. And I said, okay.

OMG! I said okay, but I was freaking out inside. Were they going to waste them? Were they going to think this could become a regular occurrence? He went on and on about how I should put a "pay box" outside the garden and let people just come in and decide how much to pay.

I was grateful to be wearing sunglasses or he might have saw me start crying. Pay what you want? Do people realize how much organic heirloom tomatoes are worth? On sale, they are about $4/pound. That's on sale people! My tomatoes are about 2 pounds each. They are full out organic and picked at total vine ripened perfection. Plus they are mine. That makes them worth so much more than $4/pound. But I'm just saying. $4/pound is a bench mark.

Don't even get me started on organic berries. Plus the fresh basil. And the whole idea of having people walking around my garden just makes me squirmy. Like standing in front of the whole neighborhood in my underwear while ants bite my skin. It's that kind of yuck.

I don't even know what else he said after that. I was so flustered about the idea that people would be in my garden. And that he asked me for "a few" tomatoes. This was the creep that said, "well, I guess some people HAVE to grow their own food." Agh!

As a garden stalker, I know that he came back later and took 5 tomatoes. At grocery store sale prices that's about $40. Plus remember he's the brat that said "I guess some people have to grow their own food."

I was beside myself for the whole next 2 days. I kept thinking he was going to be in the garden harvesting whatever he pleased. He most likely wasn't, but I couldn't stop thinking about the horror of it all.

I checked the garden even more vigilantly after that. Were all my veggies still there? I saw one of my raspberries branches leaning over toward his yard and I tucked them back in the fence. Phew. Then I saw it! 2 Cucumbers were missing. Two big ones.

We have cucumbers to spare, so I'm not super worried about it...but it's still annoying. My cucumber vine has climbed over the fence and the two that were missing were growing on the outside of the fence. Not touching his yard, but in a place where any animal could have snatched them (damn their agile little hands.)

Animals usually leave a trace though... When I told my daughter - who is in charge of the cucumbers and all flowers - she was mad. The first thing she said, "I wonder if the tomato guy took them?" That's what I was wondering.

Honestly, I bet he would ask first. But someone else might have noticed the low hanging fruit and took off with it. It's not like the garden is fort knox. It has a low fence around it and is clearly visible to the world. I'm finally letting this go. I am over the tomato asking. And I am over the lost cucumbers. But if someone starts grabbing berries - then it's time for a motion sensing camera. I'd love to know who "visits" my garden. And there will be no pay box!


Sophie said...

Hehe, sorry, but I laughed through this entire post. I can just see you getting all pitchfork, villager mad over your garden.

My cousin is the same way about her garden, but she has a lot of neighbor kids and random people just running in there and stripping it bare without asking or a hi or anything.

I have always thought of my gardens as an open patio. I guess it has to do with the time I spent in Sevilla and Mexico, where open garden patios were covered with kitchen and container gardens and you left the iron gate open so that neighbors and strangers felt comfortable wandering in.

I never had my own patio garden, but I like to invite people into my garden all the time. I talk to them, show them how to pick properly and tend though, no matter how young. I can't tell you how many times I have spotted a set of little hands fingering a flower or tomato and gone out to see them. Many times the kids will try to run off or apologize, thinking I am going to be mad, but I show them where they can find the shears-- I leave them hanging on a tree-- so that they can cut themselves a bouquet.

I can't tell you how many times this has brought me different heirloom seeds, watchful and helpful neighbors, or just some good ole conversation. In fact, when we were stranded on vacation once after a crazy connection situation, one of the neighbors called a friend that knew a friend where we were and they put us up until the airports were open again (and we were in Europe). Neighbors like that are hard to find these days.

Working Mommy said...

If it was me, I would put up a security camera with a motion sensor light...that will really deter anyone from stopping by at any time of day.


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