Any dedicated gardener will know how much time goes into a well-loved garden. But one gardener who’s just had enough of their crops being taken without permission has left the internet in stitches this week.
A recent study found that 55 percent of American households engage in gardening, with 67 percent reporting that they are growing or planning to grow edible plants.
The increasing interest in ‘grow your own’ produce has led to a boom in the gardening industry, with sales rising and more people than ever looking online for advice on how to care for their gardens.
Shared on Reddit on August 12, the picture of a sign at a local community garden has since received more than 53,000 upvotes and has been re-shared online across social media including Facebook and Twitter.
The sign read: “Shame, shame on the person(s) who stole our beautiful ONIONS. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits.”
First shared online by Kylie from British Columbia, Canada, the sign was sent to her by her father who rents a plot at their local community garden.
“We don’t personally know the individual who put it up,” Kylie told Newsweek: “When I saw the sign my first reaction was, that’s hilarious, it’s like something you’d see online.”
“There have been a lot of issues with stealing from this garden,” said Kylie, “especially around this time of year. It is a pay-for-plot garden and there are signs all around asking people only to pick what they’ve planted in their own individual plots. People put a lot of effort into maintaining and growing their gardens so I can understand how upset that person must have been when their onions were stolen.”
But the sign managed to tickle internet users when it gained viral attention. In hundreds of comments, responses flooded in.
“What can I say, anyone who disrespects onions should be brought to justice,” said one commenter.
Another Reddit user joked that it: “Brings tears to my eyes.”
“I have stuff stolen from my garden all the time,” said another reply: “Spoiler Alert. It was the raccoons.”
While some people asked whether the person stealing may have been in need of food, or even suggested that it could have been an animal rather than a person, Kylie seemed unsure.
“Based on the neighborhood we’re in, it’s extremely unlikely the person stealing was in need of food, especially onions, so I think the frustration is warranted,” she said. “The curse was pretty out there though, definitely a creative way to express your frustration.”
Many other gardeners online completely understood the frustration and later shared their support in the comments.
“If you have the energy to steal from someone’s garden, you also have the energy to knock on their door and ask like a decent person,” said one comment.
Another Redditor wrote: “It is pretty low for anyone to take all of anything in someone’s garden. Many gardeners will have a box of ‘free veggies’ because we all grow more than we need. But, really, taking them all is beyond rude.”
Amazed by the viral reaction, Kylie could not believe the picture had spread so far. “The comments were all hilarious too,” she said. “Seeing everyone’s support meant a lot to my dad who has dealt with garden theft before and was in support of the sign.”
“Learning that it takes an onion on average of one hundred to two hundred days to mature, the loss could greatly impact a dedicated gardener,” she said.