We say ‘Help yourself’ to the produce growing on The Nose – that triangular patch of ground outside St Clements Church, now a community garden maintained by Planet South Bank with the support of the church and the help of Abundance York.
‘Help yourself’ – and last weekend, somebody did!
They took all the onions and most of the garlic, which would have been better left to the autumn. They took the broad beans – only just big enough to eat. And, very inexpertly, they pulled up the potato plants but left most of the crop under the soil.
I suppose we’ve been lucky that this hasn’t happened before. We’re hoping that the produce has been eaten by local people – though how many times it might have been sold on for profit, who knows.
I certainly thought that the ‘help yourself’ implied ‘Take a fair share and leave fair shares for others’; Though I don’t like negative notices in a place that aims to be welcoming, perhaps we need to make the offer more explicit?
And I’m mindful of the economic situation, benefit cuts and the bedroom tax; did they have a part to play? For example, I’ve heard that acquisitive crime such as shoplifting has increased in the last year in parts of Newcastle – and what’s being taken are not the expensive electrical items, but meat and baby food. Could this trend be linked to what’s happening in York communities?
Anyway, there’s no serious damage to the Nose, and we’ll keep on keeping on. If you’re interested in learning how to grow fruit and vegetables – and how to harvest them! – get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org. We have regular Saturday morning sessions at The Nose, 10.00 to 11.00am every fortnight.