Frustrated. But still here.

It has been super dry and hot here – the heat index is over 100, and has been for weeks. It really needs to rain, and there is a light coat of dust on everything. Because we work on the weekends, we generally take Mondays off, but we have lots of transplants getting ready to be planted out, and they need watering daily. So Monday, I rolled up to Hannah’s Garden, our demonstration and teaching site, and the shed doors were wide open.

My first thought was that I had forgotten to lock them, but no – they had been pried open with some sort of tool, and the lock was busted. We had been robbed.


I mean, we were definitely broken into, and the doors were definitely damaged, but the only thing that appears missing is a set of secateurs, and I can’t imagine anyone breaking into a shed for a pair of pruners. Our tools were otherwise all present, hanging on the wall where they belong, our wheelbarrow was still there, heck – my gas can full of gas was still there. Weirdest robbery ever.

In any event – I didn’t have the tools I needed to fix it with me, and I didn’t want to leave the doors wide open, so I boarded it up for the night, and this morning I went to the hardware store to get what I needed to repair it.

It’s fixed now. There are bolts, boards, padlocks and hasps galore – a classic case of locking the barn door after the horses (or secateurs) have gotten out. And I have to be honest – it’s dispiriting. All I want to do is grow fresh healthy vegetables, and then give them to people who need them. And in my better moments, I know that the people who broke into our shed were not personally attacking us, or this project, it still hurts.

We have had several instances like this so far this summer. This is the second time the shed was broken into – the first time they stripped out all the tools, though.  And one weekend some folks came into the garden, got drunk and turned on all the sprinklers, leaving them running until we went back, two days later. Of course, there was a giant rainstorm that weekend too, so all the crops were damaged, wiping out our fall tomatoes.

Yes, it’s discouraging. Yes, we’re frustrated. But no, we are not going anywhere. There is way too much that still needs to be done.

Author: Hugh Hollowell Jr

Hugh is the Director of Jackson City Farm. He and his wife live in the Broadmeadow neighborhood of North Jackson, where they co-parent three spoiled cats.

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