Volunteers at the Ballarat Community Garden have been left deeply disappointed after a trailer was stolen last week.
It is believed the alleged offenders cut a series of holes in the garden's cyclone fence along the railway corridor over a few days prior before eventually getting into the garden and cutting another hole next to the front gate and pushing the trailer out overnight last Monday night or Tuesday morning.
Ballarat Community Garden president Sheilagh Kentish said it was not the first time the garden had been targeted by thieves.
"It's just really sad that you're targeting a group that really doesn't have that much money. It's all volunteers, that's the problem, it's all volunteers," she said.
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"There are a few older gardeners who, it just sort of rocks the security of coming here.
"You think you're coming to a nice, secure place just to do your gardening and stuff and although they didn't come during the day, it's still you're never quite sure what's going on so that's a bit of a worry plus it's just down right unfriendly."
Ms Kentish said the garden relied on fundraising, grants and community spirit due to its relatively low membership fees.
"We try and keep it low so that people can actually afford it, a broad range of people can afford it," she said.
"That's the beauty about it, you can do that sort of thing but then you're not getting that much money come in to have all these other things going on so we have fundraisers and we go for grants for what we need.
"For a while, a couple of years in a row, they came regularly in June and cleaned out the sheds, presumably to sell the tools and things that we had in the sheds.
"We were very lucky, the community, most of them are really generous and really, really kind and they donated a whole lot of tools and things back to us which was really lovely."
The garden is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, April 10 to replace the stolen trailer and fix the fence, featuring a garage sale and a sausage sizzle, and also selling plants and preserves.
Ms Kentish said the theft would not break the garden's spirit.
"We've just had some new gardeners come on Saturday and said what a lovely feel to the garden there is and that's what all the gardeners say," she said.
"It's a really lovely feel, it's a relaxed place, it's a safe place and we want to keep it that way."
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