The Dark Side of Community Gardens

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Is the kid in the next plot over plotting against you? Photo: Shutterstock

Is the kid in the next plot over plotting against you? Photo: Shutterstock

When you think of a community garden, you may visualize friendly neighbors side by side, tending to their fruits and veggies while peacefully enjoying each other’s company. Well, in several communities, that’s not quite the case.

There’s less singing “Kumbaya,” more slinging insults.

“The garden is micro community living — heck, it is Syria, Iraq, U.S. and Russia — just in plots and plantings,” Laura Campbell, a community gardener in Albuquerque, N.M., told Modern Farmer.

Community gardens face problems of veggie and equipment theft, abandoned plots, drinking and partying on the gardens, and culture clashes that can even result in death threats and fistfights.

Most community garden conflicts are relatively small, and of course there are several benefits of community gardens. But sometimes it may be easier to love your neighbor from across the street instead of from the garden plot 2 feet away.

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