Richmond community garden plot thickens after thieves plunder

August is when flowers and vegetables take centre stage in the garden, but a green-fingered Richmondite is feeling the frustration of having five months’ hard work ending up on someone else’s dinner table.

Rita Blosmanis, who has been on her knees since March tending to her rented plot at the Paulik Neighbourhood Park, said she arrived at her plot on Saturday to pick up some fresh vegetables for dinner.

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Instead, she found her beet leaves cut, the gate damaged and the wire fence severely bent. 

“It really hurts,” Blosmanis said. “I had been here the day before in the morning and in the evening watering and looking after them. And you come a day later, they are all gone.”

What’s worse is that the beets can no longer grow as whoever cut off the leaves killed any future maturation of the plants, noted Blosmanis. 

“They chopped off way too much of the leaves and there was nothing left. So I’ve lost a food source that would be growing into November,” said Blosmanis, adding that her hopes of homemade beetroot soup and pickled beets were all gone overnight. 

It wasn’t the first time that her plot has been vandalized. 

In late July, someone with a sharp knife cut trespassed on her spot and stole a large quantity of vegetables. 

“People recognize gardening work as sweat equity. I spent so much love, passion for growing and I look forward to the food. And in one disgraceful moment, they just chopped it down,” said Blosmanis. 

Although Blosmanis still has some vegetables left and will work hard to let other plants blossom, the whole experience has saddened her.

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