A lot has changed since blogging about National Allotments Week last year, since then I moved plots and recently enquired about another to work alongside the one I have now (but that’s for another blog post if it happens), so I think it’s safe to say I’m well and truly hooked. My new plot was neglected as they often are when they become available but not too bad, however the same old culprits were there in abundance – bindweed, brambles, nettles and dock and I doubt I’ll ever completely rid my allotment of bindweed! Now, it is my haven and I love it.
But what hasn’t changed and never will is my enthusiasm and love for allotments, even as I wrestled my sweet corn to stop it blowing over during last weekends gale force winds, it’s just part of allotment life, I take the good with the bad straight on the chin. Allotments are so much more than a place to grow some cabbages, to me, they’re grounding. I’m naturally closer to the ever-changing seasons and enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air rather than permanently wired to technology. Allotments are outdoor social clubs connecting people to instantly feel part of something, banishing feelings of loneliness in this fast and busy world. Many allotments are a haven for wildlife too, bringing humans and nature closer together. For some, I’m sure, allotments are a lifeline.
I’ve made new friends with plot neighbours and it’s lovely to share knowledge and talk about the successes and failures of the growing year, even chatting about our personal lives and other interests too. This year I took part in a working party where plot holders come together to maintain the allotment site leaving it tidy and safe for everyone. The usual jobs are cutting grass paths and tracks, trimming back overhanging boundary hedges and a general tidy up. This year the entrance road needed new hardcore to prevent it from becoming waterlogged in bad weather and winter, split into teams we shovelled, barrowed and laid the hardcore all along the entrance and access and then flattened it down. The road runs alongside my plot and it looks so much better now, best of all no muddy tyre tracks when it rains. It was thirsty work, good job Wendy dished out the tea and biscuits! This is just one example of how allotments offer such a great sense of community, the work is unpaid but everyone leaves feeling richer for helping out.
There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown. Alice B. Toklas
The theme for National Allotments Week this year is Shared Harvest, celebrating the fact that plot holders share their crops with family, friends, colleagues and worthy causes. You can find out more about National Allotments Week 12th – 18th August 2019 here. If you’re curious about signing up for an allotment look out for the many allotment open days running this week, hopefully one will be near you. Go check them out, have a wander around and talk to plot holders, we’re a friendly bunch!