Should I Lock My Shed

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Got my new shed now on the allotment and am well pleased with it and use it to store my tools (spade, fork, hoe, rake, etc.) and all the other small bits and pieces that are essential for gardening work.
But should I lock the shed door with the key when I leave? Or just leave it unlocked with the wheelbarrow upturned against it?
What do people here usually do?
Ed
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Since you've posted in a couple of groups that are international, it would help to know where "here" is. Or, are you trying to find places where people don't lock up their stuff? Or do you live under a bridge, which is my own dark suspicion.
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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On 14/04/09 17:33, Gary Woods wrote:

Sorry... I should have said that I live in East Herts in the UK..
Ed
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"Ed" wrote ...

I won't have a shed on our plot, they are attractants for thieves and vandals. It worries me that all the new gardeners on our site seem to think a shed is essential on an allotment, there was only one before, I know we will get trouble soon. Personally I would leave it unlocked as otherwise it will get broken/smashed into and badly damaged (or even be pushed over, seen that too). The tools may not be worth much but anything is enough.
Our shed is a 1986 Defender van, another "old" gardener has a decent trailer so nothing, tool wise, is left on the plots.
--
Regards
Bob Hobden
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On 14/04/09 17:41, Bob Hobden wrote:

I like having the shed . It means I can leave all my tools and stuff there and I can sit inside if there a bit of rain. So, I can then just cycle up there on my push bike and not need take the car .
Ed (Herts, UK).
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Ed wrote:

In the end it is a gamble. Depending on the amount of theft and vandalism in your particular allotment. You have to weigh up the value of your tools, which ones to keep there and the convenience of not carrying them all the time... and be prepared to buy replacements if they get stolen.
If your tools do get stolen you may be lucky and find identical ones going cheap on a car boot sale ;-)
--
David in Normandy. snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.fr
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one way around that is to buy cheap second hand tools. If they are worn they may not be so attractive to a chancer and not a huge loss if pinched.
rob
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Meant to ask, what's an "allotment"?
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Assuming you're in the U.S, you would probably call it a community garden.
Steve
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Thanks. Then I would definitely lock my shed.
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I don't lock mine, just put a nail through the hasp to keep it shut. Our site is open, not even a gate. The one time in 7 years we've been robbed, the sheds with locks were simply bolt croppered, in some cases the hasp was cut. So we all lost our tools, but those with locks also lost a lock or hasp.
Interestingly, one of the other allotmenteers called the police, and a detective came out to the allotments, and he was not best pleased because A, someone had just had a delivery of manure, which he didn't like at all, and B, because 8 sheds had been robbed, which meant 8 separate victims, and 8 separate crimes, with very little chance of solving, natch. So that was his statistics banjaxed for that month.
Steve
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In the UK an allotment is a parel of land rented, usually from local government, (the council) usually by an individual. I have my plot of land. In the UK the local authority is obliged in law by a number of 'enclosure acts' to provide such land as may be neccessary in a particular area. This is because of riots after the landed gentry enclosed the common land and made it their own in the 1800's. Leaving poor people nowhere to graze their animals or grow food for the table.
Allotments are usually collected together in a site managed by a committee, and in any site there may be a handful of allotments or dozens. On my site there are about 150 plots. each managed by an individual, or family or group of friends. I have my own plot, with my own shed, as does the man next to me and the couple next to him and the couple over the road. It is not the same thing as a community garden. I farm my own plot as do the other allotment holders on the site.
Go here to see the site that I have a plot on: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&llQ.507367,-3.225437&spn=0.001523,0.003433&t=h&z 
BTW I don't lock my shed, I just leave sharp and dangerous hazards and manure lying around so that any thieving scrote or other class traitor will hopefully injure themselves and catch something dreadful.
Baldymoon
I don't want to arrive at my grave in an attractive and well preserved body, hopefully I will be skidding in sideways, Gin and Tonic in one hand -- Cigar in the other screaming YAHAAAY!

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A dark day with the loss of the commons. A model that many counties seem to mimic. :((
Bill where is Chief Seattle ?
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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wrote:

http://onthecommons.org /
Charlie
"If the Internet teaches us anything, it is that great value comes from leaving core resources in a commons, where they're free for people to build upon as they see fit." -- Lawrence Lessig
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Thanks once again Charlie for the site and the Lessig quote.
Bill out feeding hummers now
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

Not all who wander are lost.
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http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&llQ.507367,-3.225437&spn=0.001523,0.003433&t=h&z 
What size are these allotment plots, are they all the same size? How much is the rent? Can one actually grow enough useable crops on these plots to make it worthwhile to cover the rent and ones time, labors, and incidental expenses... or is this more a fun hobby for most? Does the government supply water? I suppose the government is the landlord?, for what purpose is the rent monies used?
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Allotment sizes vary enormously, as do charges and almost every other facet of allotments. At our site, there is a system I haven't heard of anywhere else, in that the price applying when you get your plot is set for as long as you have it. People who have had theirs longer than us are paying 12 or 15 per year. We pay 20. People who took theirs on after us are paying various amounts up to 50. Many sites are council property, but ours is property of a local landowner and has been allotments since 1917. The site is administered (very loosely) by a local estate agent (realtor) who also handle the other business of the landowner.
The rules about what you can and cannot do or grow vary from site to site. We for instance are not allowed to keep any livestock on the plots, but some places do allow chickens etc. Our site has no water provided, so we catch what we can from the roofs of the shed and greenhouse. As to value, I believe it is enormously worthwhile. We buy nothing but seeds, seed potatoes etc for ours, various plants have come from friends etc. when a small punnet of soft fruit can cost 3.99 at the supermarket, and we can pick a washing up bowl full of blackberries, you bet your life it's worth it. We also grow rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes,golden raspberries, gooseberries, and we have an apple tree, a plum tree, and a cherry tree. And that's before any veg.
But for many people the true value of an allotment is in the side benefits, ie fresh air, exercise, free or at least cheap food, improved diet, new friends, the knowledge that what you're eating has been grown by yourselves, and grown organically/ethically etc according to ones own convictions. And for many of us, the chance to make things out of junk and scrounge things out of skips etc.
Steve
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I find this facinating, an entirely different system from what I've previously known for community gardening. And each reply generates more questions. Approximately how large are these plots, I realize they're all differeent but like in what range; 2,500 sq ft, 10,000 sq ft, 20,000 sq ft... what area is yours? I'm thinking that if you can grow so much variety, even have fruit trees, then you must have at least an 1/8 - 1/4 acre. For the few dollars a year it seems like a steal, doesn't pay to own your own piece of farm land, I guess. What do you do if it doesn't rain for a while, can you haul water by wagon? How far away do you live from your plot?
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SNIP

The plots on our site vary in size as the site is irregularly shaped. Mine is quoted as 0.11 acre, or roughly 4800 sq ft. Or even 445 sq metres if you like. If you put your google earth pointer at 50.47.09.37"N, 01.54.20.23"W, that is smack in the middle of my plot. Above and right are my potato rows, and you could be forgiven for thinking I was drunk when I marked out the path. I wasn't, I don't know what happened there, it has been rectified since that pic was taken, which was 2007.
Rain hasn't been a problem for the past couple of years, we have had very wet summers. In dry summers we do take water to the allotment, also we use various means to save water. We now have 7 tanks of water fed from various guttering. In UK there is currently a lot of work going on to convert houses from old-fashioned boilers to the new condensing type. This, depending on the exact system being used, liberates the big water tank from the loft, which I then scrounge from the plumbers, or out of the skip.
Here - http://s163.photobucket.com/albums/t282/shazzbat3/water%20stuff /
You can see some of the stuff we've done. The black snaky thing is a perforated pipe which I bury with the seed potatoes so I can pour water in the end of it to water straight to the roots. And to answer your last question, we live 2.2 miles from the plot, although I know many people travel much further. I have heard tell of 30 miles, but that would be extreme, IMHO.
Steve
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Thank you for the info, and especially the pictures. Nearly 5,000 sq ft of garden is enough to feed a family and to keep a small roadside farm stand stocked. I appreciate all your ingenuity and efforts for accumlating rain water, however it's unfortunate that there's not tap water available.
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