Sounds like some community gardens have governance issues
Fascinating article in Modern Farmer:
“People have this idea, because it’s a ‘community’ garden, you’ll have a bunch of people sitting around holding hands, singing ‘Kumbaya,’” says Julie Beals, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC ). “Have you seen an actual community?”
Community gardens make wonderful additions to any city — that’s not in dispute. But let’s face it: Any time strangers mix, you can’t always bank on good behavior. Children’s birthday parties turn into brawls. Subway riders become instant enemies. Department store shopping looks like trench warfare.
Community gardens throw a cross-section of people cheek to cheek, shovel to shovel, on a continual, regular basis. There’s bound to be some issues.
“People never fail to both delight, disappoint and exasperate me,” says Laura Campbell, a community gardener in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The garden is micro community living — heck, it is Syria, Iraq, USA, Russia — just in plots and plantings.”
Heck, any time neighbors mix, you can't always bank on good behavior!
Each Los Angeles garden holds a monthly meeting, where LACGC members listen to people’s complaints and attempt to mediate. These meetings get heated; yelling and screaming are common. Still, it’s all part of the process. Beals believes it’s all part of neighbors getting to know each other, learning to work side-by-side.
“You start from a place of isolation, right? People are sitting at home, watching TV, not getting to know their neighbors,” Beals says. “Getting them into the garden is a wonderful thing. It’s just, after a few months, people realize they don’t like their neighbors as much as they did from a distance.”
Dunno, dunno. Those Swiss farmers Ostrum writes about don't seem to have these problems, or if they do, the problems haven't prevented them from managing a common pool resource together for a many centuries. That phrase, "attempt to mediate" jumps out at me. Maybe LACGC needs to rethink whatever its rules are? Any LACGC members out there?