· Know your non-gardening neighbors. Share some extra produce. Take the time to explain to them how the garden works if they’re not familiar with it. You may be surprised to find that people just assume that they can take food from the garden. “Hey, it’s for the community, right?”
· Harvest produce on a regular basis. Some people use the excuse that “a lot of food is going to waste” to justify taking food from a garden without permission. During harvest season, let garden leaders know if you plan to be out of town for more than a few days. Gardeners can harvest for you and donate the food to a local pantry.
· Consider growing unpopular, unusual, or hard-to-harvest varieties. People generally go for easy to snatch things like tomatoes, peppers and corn.
· Make sure your garden has a gate and a lock. Even a simple barrier can be a deterrent. We suggest a combination lock because it makes it easier to let other gardeners in if you need help in your garden. However, any type of lock is permissible.
· Report theft, vandalism and unusual activities to garden leaders and the police. The more people who are looking out for the garden and talking about what’s going on, the more success you’ll have at being safe and curbing unwanted activities.