What my allotment means to me - National Allotments Week - Plotting for the Future.
For National Allotments week our Mayor is coming to visit the site. As it would be a bit of a tall order to get round the 400+ plots on the site, our rep asked us to write something about what having an allotment means to us. Here is mine.
My motivation for signing up for the allotment was fears about food following the Brexit result. We are low end of moderate income people and food is a big part of our expenditure. I am in my first year and now producing my first food and I could not have anticipated what abundance the allotment has brought me - and not just in food.
It has given me an opportunity for learning - I am loving researching no dig, polyculture and most excitingly permaculture (which I had never heard of prior to starting my allotment).
It is a wonderful supportive community of like minded people with the common denominator of growing which transcends race, gender, age, religion, ability. I love our rich diversity and opportunity to learn and share. In terms of community it has also had an added bonus of sharing surplus with my neighbours where I live. And I am looking forward to contributing to the food collections we donate as an allotment to local charities.
Like many people I have 'got on' with Covid but I do feel an underlying anxiousness that prevails. I have found the allotment fabulous mindful therapy and has certainly benefited my mental health literally being 'grounded' by the soils, seeds and seeing nature work it's magic.
I also love the whole recycling, repurposing, reusing ethos of allotmenting and the wonderful structures people have created from trellising to compost bins. It has inspired my creativity to find uses for things that would find their way to landfill.
Above trellis that a neighbour was throwing out, similarly some conduit cable, a garden arch that had broken and is now the climbing frame for my Spaghetti Squash and the start of my compost bins and temporary home made shed.
Having done a few before and during videos for close friends I have been delighted to have inspired one or two to start to experiment with growing food and organically.
So what my allotment has given me is inspiration, a place of life long learning, a vital space for reflection and mindfulness, helping my mental wellbeing and activities to inspire others. Plus a rich source of delicious organic food so we now eat like we shop at Waitrose rather than Aldi.