Portland Sous-Chefs Allegedly Scavenging Local Yards for Ingredients

Oh, Portland. You've really outdone yourself this time. A thread on Reddit asks how to manage one of the lesser-known problems of living in the hipster paradise: "How do you keep local sous chefs from harvesting urban edibles on your property?"

I have tried posting signs, yet they still seem to find a way into my yard to harvest everything from nettles and catmint to borage and grape leaves. I even built a six-foot tall fence, but they are still managing to get in.

I have called the offending restaurants to ask them to tell their sous chefs to stop trespassing, but so far they seem undeterred. I have also offered to let them onto my property with my supervision, but they mostly seem to come out while I'm at work so everything can be prepped for their dinner service.

It was fine when they were just harvesting pineapple weed and mallow from the alley and the parking strip, although it was admittedly a little off-putting. I'm also totally cool with them picking the crab apples because some of the branches are in the public right of way. But yesterday my neighbor called to let me know she had to help a sous chef who got stuck on top of my fence holding a baggie full of chicory leaves.

I get that part of living in inner SE is dealing with locavore sous chefs and all the problems that follow them, but it is frustrating and kind of scary knowing that they are constantly combing my yard for garnishes while I'm away.

Also, I know all of this sounds silly, and I'll admit that it's a total first-world problem. But I'm being completely serious. I'm afraid that if I called the police about this, they would either laugh me off the phone or accuse me of making shit up. Any ideas?

Now, it's just one guy on Reddit, so take it with a big grain of salt—though OregonLive found it credible enough to write up, and apparently local Portland news station KGW might be doing a story on the great sous-chef epidemic.

[image via AP, hat tip to Noah]