Saturday, 27 March 2010

Allotments - They're not just about the veg are they?

As I've said before, I'm not a keen gardener, I'm a keen eater. My main motivation for growing veg is the enhanced taste experience it offers, not only with spankingly fresh veg but stuff you just can't get hold of in Tesco - Cavello Nero, or fresh Borlotti beans for example. So up until now, to me, an allotment represented an opportunity to grow more of what I enjoy and explore more exotic varieties.

It's only this week that I've begun to appreciate that the benefits of an allotment stretch much further than the salad drawer of the fridge. As I outlined earlier, I'm fascinated by the objects we're digging up and the sense of a connection to the past. A sure sign that I'm firmly in the allotment honeymoon period was the speed with which I found myself charmed by a cigarette butt and it's pleasing historical 'book end' to the clay pipe stems we've been finding.

I'm also utterly exhausted by the physical effort, but in a pleasing 'I worked hard today' kind of way rather than that 'children had a 4am start' hollow eyed , soul crushing pain kind of way. And I'm sure that (whisper it) my clothes feel looser and my thighs more toned after just a week.

The community spirit of the allotment site has taken me by surprise too. Our initial Allotment Association meeting felt like an episode of the Archers. I perched on a hard plastic chair in the cutest timbered village hall I've ever seen, while conversation thick with local names, gossip and obscure farming terms flew over my head. At least I haven't been press ganged into appearing in the Panto ..... yet. We seem to be a nice mix of people, several young families and wide age range. I think we have the makings of a vibrant Allotment Community.


  1. Tracey, glad you are enjoying it. If your "lesser-half" has not told you already, I have a book for you, once I meet up with him in a few weeks time.

    Very jealous you have the opportunity and ability to do an allotment.


  2. Adam told me about the book, thank you very much, that's kind of you. No allotments near you then?

    (btw, Ethelwulf?)

  3. Sounds wonderful. You are making me feel more tempted to get an allotment myself. But I shall see how I get on growing things on my balcony for the first time!

  4. I love the allotment community, As a new holder a couple of years ago people were full of friendly tips and advice and would often come over to see how I was getting on and offer a hand. This will be slightly different for you as you are all starting in the same boat but nonetheless you will all know bits of things you can share and it's always nice to throw ideas backwards and forwards with each other when you just aren't sure what to do. I have also found blogging a godsend for lots of info tips...though probably not as much as my Hubby who got sick and tired to death of me ranting on about the

    Glad you are enjoying it and remember...only go to the plot when you want to go...if there is a time you think you should go but don't really feel like it then leave it for that day as your experience should always be pleasurable (even if it is back-breaking!) And it won't do the plot any harm to wait another day!!

  5. Thanks Tanya - we're still in our honeymoon period but I think it's worn off for the children already! Still, when the shed's up they'll enjoy playing in there I think.

    Be careful Charlene, once the bug bites, it bites hard! Give it a year and you'll be mithering the council for a plot!

  6. You are making me jealous. It all sounds ideal and lovely, very Archerish.
    Good luck to all your novice allotmenteers.