Thursday, October 31, 2013

Local Kleptocracy

Are locavores really so entitled that they will steal from local gardens. A recent Reddit post from Portland, Ore. claims they are.

Homeowners: How do you keep local sous chefs from harvesting urban edibles on your property?
I have tried posting signs, yet they still seem to find a way into my yard to harvest everything from nettles and catmint to borage and grape leaves. I even built a six-foot tall fence, but they are still managing to get in. I have called the offending restaurants to ask them to tell their sous chefs to stop trespassing, but so far they seem undeterred. I have also offered to let them onto my property with my supervision, but they mostly seem to come out while I'm at work so everything can be prepped for their dinner service. It was fine when they were just harvesting pineapple weed and mallow from the alley and the parking strip, although it was admittedly a little off-putting. I'm also totally cool with them picking the crab apples because some of the branches are in the public right of way. But yesterday my neighbor called to let me know she had to help a sous chef who got stuck on top of my fence holding a baggie full of chicory leaves. I get that part of living in inner SE is dealing with locavore sous chefs and all the problems that follow them, but it is frustrating and kind of scary knowing that they are constantly combing my yard for garnishes while I'm away.

I'm skeptical about the authenticity of this post. The caller somehow knows which restaurants to call. The repeated name-dropping of herbs seems like a literary device. Most quizzical of all, there are plenty of dishonest people that sell to locavores by lying about the origins of their ingredients, so why wouldn't they simply lie to people instead of taking such strange risks?

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