The answer to this question is usually "No."
Some of the first harvests of Sandy Hill Community Garden have already been lost to non-garden members this year. A lovely rhubarb plant that was being cared for diligently by one gardener was harvested without his permission the day before he went to harvest it himself. His family's dessert plans were ruined. The frustration he felt that day is only the beginning and he knows it. As the green tomatoes on the vine ripen some gardeners feel that it will be a race to harvest their produce. This feeling is unfortunate. What if you want to let your squash get big? Or you went away for the weekend and didn't get a chance to pick your ripened tomatoes? Does this warrant theft? Is it fair that the time you invested to water, nurture and care for your garden is rewarded by missing harvests?
In order to prevent this from happening our gardeners will be putting up some polite 'no picking' signs on garden plots that are for personal use. We also have a communally gardened/food-bank plots that we will leave sign free. We hope that all hungry garden visitors will leave individual plots alone and harvest ripe vegetables from the sign free plots.
If you have any ideas on how we can minimize vegetable theft please leave a comment.