Its a sad state of affairs that public community gardens are often subjects for vandalism. There seems to be no rhythm or reason to it and often the action feels totally unjust. I’m unsure whether its the warmer weather and longer days but over the past few weeks I’ve been hearing of a few community gardens been vandalised. Its not so much that people are taking stuff without asking or helping themselves to a share in the harvest without putting in some work as well, but its that infrastructure goes missing or whole plants get taken.
Its a terrible state of affairs that we live in a world where ownership is so closely tied to feelings of security and identity. However, I believe that public gardening has a critical role to play in addressing these issues and offering an alternative.
Special thanks to the work going on at The Foraging Commons, here are some guidelines for how to engage with urban agriculture. Let’s call it appropriate urban agriculture etiquette.
- Take only what you will consume, leaving some for others
- Consume only those plants that you can recognise and know are safe for human eating
- Respect the natural cycle of the plants by harvesting only when fruit has ripened
- Respect the work and efforts by others by leaving public gardens as you have found them (or perhaps a little bit better)
- Do not harvest for commercial purposes
- Should you take, be prepared to give as well by planting in public spaces and caring for those edible plants already there
- Do not trespass onto private property without permission
So what do you think? Would you add anything?