Good-bye Garden

Posted April 2013

The top photo is the typical state in which tenants receive their balconies in our building. Sometimes in better condition, and sometimes in worse.
The bottom is a photo of my balcony. A winter gardening project that proves that urban gardening is possible.
The condition of the apartment received in the top photo was reported to HOAS, to which no action was ever taken. An all too common situation.
As for my balcony, I have received a letter and email stating “Balcony of the apartment is not meant for storing things..” and “…balcony should be totally empty or the maintenance will bring the things away and tenants will be charged of this.” (Not found in the contract or rules.)

Investigating a bit, I could not find another apartment in the building that has received this notice. Discussion broke out among residents. Questioning what the use is in a balcony so large if it must be empty? and why, with its history of prior decisions, has HOAS taken this decision?

Lets get down to the real reason. Energy. I don’t pay the electric bill, and from the start I’ve been tracking my energy usage. Operating so many lights has its drain. The issue then is why can’t HOAS be straight forward about it? We live in a community where balconies are loaded with junk. I can see fridges outside, cloth racks, and useless furniture.

I’m not one to argue. The garden has had its run. I’m afraid I will have no choice but to say good-bye to this effort. The garden project has been part of our community building effort and will be missed many. The disassembly will be carried out with the help of at least a dozen neighbors, in true community spirit.

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