Now plant thieves have hit the City Sprouts community garden.
Sometime after Tuesday morning, thieves took hundreds of tomato and pepper plants waiting to be planted in the long-running Orchard Hill garden, acting chair Becky Anderson said this morning. The plants are worth upwards of $1,000.
If the organization can't come up with replacements, it will have a scant crop to offer for donations and less to sell at farmers markets, which are part of the organization's youth program, Anderson said.
Last weekend, someone stole 50 to 75 vegetable plants from the Sherman Community Center's youth garden. That led to a flood of offers from the community to provide new plants or to help replant.
Anderson said City Sprouts, which is in its 18th year, had hoped to provide plants to Sherman, but now is asking for its own donations.
People interested in helping can contact Roxanne Williams, City Sprouts executive director, at (402) 216-9616.
In reacting to the Sherman theft earlier this week, Anderson figured City Sprouts loses 10 to 15 percent of its crop every year to theft, although it normally loses vegetables in small increments.
“We've never had a theft like this before,” Anderson said.
The thefts have City Sprouts organizers thinking more about security. Anderson said she wonders if the garden needs a fenced area to protect plants before they get planted. But fencing the entire garden, she said, “doesn't seem very welcoming.”