Here in Britain we have been told by our government to stay home, not to visit family or friends and only to leave our homes for essentials such as food. Exercise is permitted once a day and we should practise social distancing staying 2 metres apart when we do leave our homes. Covid-19 has killed thousands of people worldwide so far, well before the pandemic was officially announced the fear of food shortages and lockdown sent people into a panic, frenzy buying food and stripping shops bare. Pretty much everywhere is now closed, only shops providing food are allowed to remain open. These measures are in place to slow the spread of coronavirus and to hopefully take the pressure off our precious NHS. I have never witnessed anything like it.
Now, more than ever, I am grateful for my allotment. The government has said allotments can remain open (for now) because they are a form of exercise and the very nature of allotments means close proximity to others is avoidable, but people should still be sensible about using them and social distance. I am still visiting my plot, not on a daily basis and I’m being sensible when I do. My plot is less than a 5 minute walk from my home so there’s no need to use public transport and the only unlocked gate to the site is usually open, if it is on the latch I use latex gloves to open it to prevent the need to touch metal surfaces which covid-19 is said to live on for hours after being touched by an infected person. With just 33 plots the allotment site is small and I usually have the whole place to myself when I visit, more people are visiting their plots now which is to be expected but everyone is being very sensible and safe.
This is an extremely testing time for us all and gardening has never felt as important as it does right now, for healthy bodies and mind. Gardening related businesses are struggling to keep up with the demand for vegetable seeds and seedlings, many people turning to their gardens for solace and to plan ahead by starting veg patches. I’m ashamed to say I neglected my garden veg patch while I worked on my allotments, and I’ve been a bit lazy since. Worrying about the coronavirus pandemic has kicked me up the wotsit to sort it out, the weather has been lovely since the ‘lockdown’ so I have spent this week getting it back into shape for the growing year, accompanied by my chickens who love nothing better than scratching up weeds. I plan to grow more veg than I need and help people in my village who may appreciate some fresh food, if you can, do the same!
Who knows how this will all unfold in the weeks and months to come, tighter restrictions may be enforced. I have never been more grateful to love and live the lifestyle that I do, being able to grow seasonal food is a joy, and right now feels a necessity in this scary uncertain world.
Stay safe, be sensible and look after one another x