The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Twist wrench and grab


Photo: Home grown flowers

Photo: Home grown flowers

Considering that the gateside stand has been up and running for nearly nine months now, thefts from the stand have been low.

When they do happen it’s a shock. I spot that we have sold something and my heart lifts but when I open the cash box it is empty. Before the school holidays began some teenage boys on bikes started nicking stuff. As profits are quite low, this was depressing. But I scotched their game by working in the front garden around that time that they passed each day. They knew that I knew. After a while they just stared ahead and pedalled slowly by.

Sometimes people leave 2p for a pot of jam. The jar alone costs us 30p. Occasionally someone steals flowers to present to a loved one. I wonder what they would think if they knew that it was stolen?

Sales on the gateside stand have been really slow this month. But yesterday we had a good day and sold 9 jars of marmalade and chutney. Usually I bring the stand in at seven o’clock but as it was such a glorious and sunny evening I decided to leave it out just a bit longer. Perhaps I could tempt another passer by?

And I did. Someone nicked the cash box and all the takings.

At first I couldn’t work out how they had taken it. The bicycle lock that slips through the handle was still locked. Then I spotted the handle – it had been wrenched off the cash box and left neatly on the top of the stand.

Some village newcomers are suspected of stealing stuff from the village shop and a whole day’s batch of bread and cakes were recently stolen from outside the shop. It’s delivered in the early hours of the morning so no one saw the culprits. In a small old fashioned community it’s a shock when trust is broken – I should have been more vigilant.

This morning I ordered a much sturdier cash box from Amazon. I was so angry that it was tempting to order a stun gun too. The handle of the new box is bolted to the lid.  I’ll clear the cash box regularly from now on. I’m not going to be beaten by these thugs.

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  1. Kooky Girl

    Oh, this is sad news. I’ve been away in France so out of your loop for a while. Whilst in our little village I left my camera in the little boules/playground. I was convinced I would never see it again, especially as I didn’t realise it was missing til the next day. The day after that I mentioned it to some friends about reporting the loss at the ‘mairie’ (village town hall). Oh, they chimed, that was yours… Leuc has it round the corner, they found it and looked at the photos, we thought it might be yours when they mentioned it. These lovely people had thought my camera was a set of boules in it’s pouch and brought them in out of the rain… It was probably around the same time as your box was being stolen. This makes me think that for an act of bad being committed in the world, there is, we hope, an act of kindness being committed somewhere else. I’m so grateful my camera was returned to me, so I’m feeling your loss for you…

  2. What stupid rat bastards!

    I’m so upset about this F&D, it really just makes me so angry.

    The theft of your cashbox is terrible and I hope a new system provides you with greater security.

    The wicked witch of a neighbor who steals from you regularly is what really makes my blood boil!! And the fact that she knows you?!! So. Angry.

    I see that others have encouraged you to put up a letter about your theft. I would highly encourage you to do this – but not only to address the theft of the cashbox, but also that you know when people take without paying. That you can often see the stand and know who they are. Shorting you cash is wrong. This is also stealing.

    I’m sure you can put it more eloquently than that, but I think it’s important. I frequent farmers markets and enjoy buying from roadside stands. I’ve seen signs like this posted, and while I would never pay less than the posted price for an item, it is a reminder that these are not “suggestions” or “donations”. This is the fruit of your labor… excuse the pun!

    I think you would find that everyone might cough up the last few pennies if they realized that you knew… and especially if they thought you had seen them in the past.

    I’m writing a book here so I’ll stop. It just makes me so angry!! I’m sending you well wishes and sweet dreams and I hope your week gets better!!!


  3. just in for a quick flash, and what do I see? some bu&&ers have stolen from their neighbours. what a world we are now living in?

    Sorry I havent been around for a long time. I hope to be back in the swing of everything in a few months so this is a Hi and Bye, hope you are all well, fellow forum peeps.

    I agree with a sign. 1st thought was

    Dont Steal. The Government Hate competition.

    my next thought was to say “due to the theft of the cash box, my stand will not be put out until we have put up a camera. it saddens and disheartens me that I am forced to take this action and is by no means a refection of my regular paying customers.

    We are a local couple who have lived in this village for years. We are not a large supermarket giant. When you steal from us, you steal from someone just like yourself not a faceless brand.

    We thank all the patrons of our stand and value your custom. Please feel free to ring the door bell if there is an item that you know we stock and want to buy. We will be pleased to help.

    We thank you for your patiences while our stand is overhauled. and look forward to your custom in the very near future.”

    regards Cottage Small Holder.

    you could be an angry person (like I would) and put a p.s. “to the toe rag who stole from us, you are pond scum, I hope you stand in dog poo and have a hole in your shoe!

    Love to all

    Sarah – SOL

  4. cliqcliq

    I,m new to the site Fiona, but my sentiments are with (mandi on August 18th, 2010 ) Maybe you ought to be looking at networking your products and for all of us who want to buy them to place an order and to P&P them by courier as the cost of doing this is quite cheap now adays,

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