Thursday, 22 October 2015

Why not Get an Allotment?

There probably hasn't been a better time in the last few years to get an allotment than now. There are various reasons for this, there was a surge in take up of allotments about 6 years ago when people realised how wonderful it is to have a piece of land to grow your own vegetables and fruit. At the same time however, it was recognised that some people didn't want a whole allotment, at least until they knew they could put in the necessary work into it. Many were divided in half, effectively increasing the number of new allotments, because as each allotment became available, it was divided up. This means that on many sites, including mine, the Shrivenham Road site, there are vacant plots available now.
So what should you do if you think you'd like your own plot of land to grow things? Firstly visit the council's website: http://www.swindon.gov.uk/directory/26/allotments where you'll find out where the 26 allotment sites are in the town, and instructions on how to apply for one.
I was down there today when I met Kim and Naj who I'd previously met last year at a Christmas fair at the Pilgrim Centre, they were looking for allotment 2b, the vacant plot next to mine!!
Time to be encouraging about how easy it would be to get it into full working order with a bit of weed clearance and digging; I think they were convinced, they took photos anyway, and so did I:
You can just see in the bottom left where I dug a bit of the ground to show the wonderful soil.
Keen to encourage more people to experience the joys of allotmenting, I've taken a few more photos over the last few weeks:

 These two allotments were wonderfully productive
 This was one of the largest sunflowers I've seen
 And here's another weedy one, just waiting for a bit of clearing to be done:
I've had great success with sweetcorn this year, particularly with the variety 'Swift', much sweeter than the old variety 'Kelvedon Glory'. Here are 2 cobs with a bread knife to show how big they are
 The strange thing about the damsons on my allotment is that they are much smaller than the ones off a recently purchased tree, variety 'Merryweather'.
 Here are the damsons on the allotment tree, probably an almost wild variety which came originally from my Father's garden
I've only recently thought I might like to sit around the allotment rather always work on it, and found this table and 2 chairs dumped in the car park this week, so they are now rather jauntily arranged in freshly dug ground.
 There's not much to see at the moment but lots of freshly dug ground
but it's very satisfying to get it dug over before the autumn rain makes it too heavy to dig.


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