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‘I grow everything I can’:allotment growers explain what they love about the growing trend

Updated: Jul 26, 2019

More than 100,000 people are believed to be on waiting lists for allotment plots amid a growing buzz about homegrown food

More than 100,000 people are believed to be on waiting lists for the nation’s 300,000 plots amid a growing buzz about homegrown food inspired by television chefs and environmentalists such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and concerns about the impact of food miles and packaging on climate change and pollution.

A study in 2011 found that a number of councils have more than 1,500 people on their lists and more than 30 had been forced to shut the lists down altogether.

But those blessed few who finally make it on to a plot with their new spade and boots quickly become part of a national community of growers and find themselves learning from growers with decades and even half-centuries of experience.

The National Allotment Society says allotments offer a raft of benefits home grown food, a sense of achievement, healthy exercise to contact with nature and increased social capital.

‘It keeps you fit and you can’t beat fresh food’

“Allotments are becoming popular again as people have become more concerned about their health. The federation has been working with the council to rejuvenate three allotment sites and Salford University has been in touch with us to do some research about the health benefits.

Anecdotal evidence shows that large numbers of local authorities around the UK are building new allotments as part of planning applications for new housing in a move that acknowledges the rising encroachment on greenbelt by towns and cities.

Be prepared to wait : Hastings Council website states you may have to wait for 4 - 5 years on the waiting list :

Try Composting at home :

Do your bit to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill new research has found that almost half of the food waste in their rubbish bins could have been composted.

composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in three months?

When waste is sent to landfill, air cannot get to the organic waste so as the waste breaks down it creates methane, which damages the Earth's atmosphere.

However, when this same waste is composted above ground at home, oxygen helps the waste to decompose aerobically which means hardly any methane is produced, which is good news for the planet. And what's more, after nine to twelve months, you get a free fertiliser for your garden and plant pots to keep them looking beautiful.

Benefits for your garden

Your compost is a nutrient-rich food product for your garden and will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soil's pH balance in check while helping to suppress plant disease.

It will have everything your plants need including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and it will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Compost improves your soil's condition and your plants and flowers will love it!

Hastings Council Website

Hastings Allotments rent hike

Read more: ‘My doctor prescribed me gardening rather than drugs. It has made a big difference to my mental health’

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