It's coriander rustling season again.
Reports of the herb being unbecomingly beheaded by person or persons unknown are circulating amongst the gardening aficionados hereabouts.
It is a heinous crime, and portends a growing season full of stripped trees and yanked out veggies. The pictures of headless corpses and Margaret Thatcher in her bag swinging prime having had no effect.
More must be done to curtail this wanton thuggery. The solution proposed by one of our more creative allotmenteers - genetically modified beetroot - was reluctantly rejected.
The suggestion of introducing the chemical components of TNT into the beetroot gene was enthusiastically applauded by the growing fraternity at a special meeting called to draw up an action plan. The graphic full colour illustrations showing bloodied hand stumps, along with corpse strewn rows of runner beans drew cheers of approval.
Our enthusiasm was only curtailed when we were reminded of a most distressing incident on an allotment site in Ashby under Lyme. The mislabeling of a row of beets had resulted in one of that town's oldest families being completely wiped out. Also, the genetically altered veg was highly unstable: the detonation of one beetroot setting off the whole row.
However, it was pointed out that exploding rows of beet were the ideal solution for infirm allotmenteers who could not lift a spade or fork.
The alternative suggestion of crossing the tasty, if innocuous, loquat with 400 metres of WW1 vintage barbed wire was accepted as a pleasing compromise.
You may recall that a spate of parsley decapitation at about this time last year was successful halted through the judicious use of capital punishment. The rotting dangling corpses a powerful disincentive to obnoxious herb rustlers.
Although the stench of said corpses did, on occasion, distract from the bucolic charm of my purple sprouting broccoli, the lack of rustlers and marauding highwaymen rampaging through my swedes and turnips was a blessed joy.
Someone has just offered me a booby-trapped apple tree. One bite into that tree's fruit will leave the thief toothless, and chin less, and nose less.
Well worth planting this season, remembering, of course, to correctly label.