Fancy growing your own…

In times of austerity, high inflation and the rising cost of living, having an allotment and growing your own 5-a-day could be a real asset to today’s family. A healthy balanced diet, as well as open green spaces, can have a profound positive effect on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. And not to forget the solitude of the allotment shed, a quiet hideout away from the fast pace of modern living…

‘The feel-good factor that comes with growing and nurturing your own food is intoxicating’

Allotment Junkie

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Taking on your first allotment plot…

It can be a daunting sight and seem a daunting task Taking on an Allotment – you’ll probably get the key to a neglected site, overgrown for years, thick with weeds, bramble and the odd tyre or bathtub to boot. But at the same time you should be excited that ‘A’ you’ve made it to the top of the waiting list and ‘B’ no matter how derelict – you have your very own plot!

Below are a few links (If you have any other suggestions please post to the page below and I’ll include them on this post for others) that may help point you in the direction in the first instance on how to find an allotment locally to where you live. Otherwise you could just ask neighbours or friends, other mums and dads on the school run – most allotment sites are are hidden gems and you’d probably never have even known they were there!

Also (shameless plug) you could join the ‘Allotment Junkies‘ Facebook group or follow My ‘Allotment Junkie‘ page – post the question here about available allotment plots near to where you live – we now have quite a few followers who are extremely knowledgable and freely give advice and help to the online community, and should be able to point you in the direction of local sites and committee members who you would need to contact in the first instance.

Alternative have a good mooch about on Sunday afternoons locally to you – the chance is you’ll stumble across an allotment site at the bottom of some alley or road you’ve passed a thousand times – just wait by the gate and ask one of the tenants for a little help and advice.

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It’s a dirty subject but we have to talk about money…

Fees are involved when taking on an allotment – rent of land use – usually payable to the treasurer of the site committee – who then pays the local council who may be the land owner. There are also private run and community run allotment sites up and down the country and the cost can vary considerably nationwide – it’s a good topic of debate on our social media pages.

Some allotment sites include water rates and they may also be fortunate enough to have a power supply – also included in the fee – and other allotment sites may not – so your yearly rent may included these additional services or not. Another factor is the size of the plot – most are now rented out as ‘half plots’ due to demand (shortage of plots and waiting lists) and also demand on time – to manage/cultivate the plot.

Due to the size of a full plot – most newcomers may get a little disengaged very quickly due to the scale and the hard work, plus the time commitment just to bring the plot up to standard initially – so a half plot is now seen as normal practice for beginners with the option to take on and extend the plot in the future if all goes to plan.

My first allotment was a half plot measuring approximately 15ft wide x 70ft in length with 10ft brambles front to back – so dedication and some really physical work for the first six months before even sowing a single seed was required. Cost £28.00 + £5 subs per year – this includes mains water to the site and onsite toilet, parking and cabin which is open in the summer for the teashop.

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Applying for an allotment

Contact your local council to apply for an allotment near you. They will either allocate you a plot or, in many cases, add your name to a waiting list.

Welcome to GOV.UK
https://www.gov.uk/apply-allotment


Useful Links

National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners
http://www.nsalg.org.uk/allotment-info/how-to-get-an-allotment/

Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens
https://www.farmgarden.org.uk/resources/allotment-law-community-growing-factsheet


I hope that this the Allotment Junkie website and the allotment books (Lost the Plot) we publish may give you an idea – an insight to what YOU can achieve – in terms of Taking on an Allotment – having long terms goals and starting with a plan of action, how you’re going to cultivate the land back into good order and productivity. It’s gonna be hard work at times, physically demanding, challenging even, but if you can overcome these odds, it’ll probably be one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Not only for the fresh produce you grow but also the investment in your emotional and mental wellbeing…

Enjoy


 

 Content updated / edited March 2017

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