We ran a little competition with Harrod Horticulture putting up a £50 prize asking people to send in a photo or photos of their plot along with a little bit about why they grew their own.
The winner was Carl Goss from Ipswich but it was a close run thing with some really interesting entries.
You asked why we grow our own. Well Mum and Dad always did and so it was fairly natural for us to commune with the soil. Added to that the lovely Tom and even lovelier Barbara of ‘Good Life’ fame and the much missed Geoff Hamilton showed the way.
We took on the allotment several years ago. Heavily compacted with 5 layers of carpet under the soil and nine tree stumps, the plot had not been cultivated for upwards of 4 decades, being home to chickens for many years. It had been somewhat forcibly ‘repossessed’ by the authorities.
In the process, the sheds, chicken runs, summerhouse (yes really) had been burnt, smashed, and pulverized into the ground by a group of community service offenders (similar actions that had probably got them into that group in the first place!)
These days, we are largely self-sufficient in veg for a good portion of the year. It tastes better growing your own of course.
True, when we stand in Aldi with a 29p cabbage we do wonder why we do it, but there’s so much more to be said for it, the exercise, the sense of wellbeing, achievement, stress busting, opening the kid’s minds, being part of a community of likeminded folks, helping wildlife and the environment, and confidence in the provenance and quality of what we’re eating. Just a few more hours in the day and a little more sleep would be nice!
The soil looks in excellent tilth now! Picture by Carl Goss
This smashing entry from Linda Barratt in Burbage shows just how nice a traditional allotment plot can be.
Linda says about her hobby:
Here's a few photos from my plots. I have 2 x 1/2 plots side by side. I garden to stay grounded, I feel relaxed...
Gloria Lamb from Brentwood in Essex sent in this charming set of photos of a lovely looking plot. They were a little small so I've combined them into one.
My allotment to me is my little piece of heaven! It gives me respite from all...
Steven Coles grows on an allotment in Exmouth, Devon. A lovely climate if you don't mind the odd drop of rain!
The reason I like to grow my own is it has helped to bring my father and I closer together and taught my family about the...
These photos are from Valerie Davidson who now has an allotment in Gillingham, Kent. Kent - 'the garden of England' Almost the perfect place to grow.
Today I have finished digging my Allotment. I had 3 allotments in the 90s but work...
This entry from Fiona Gray up in Kilmarnock, Scotland shows just how much can be achieved with enthusiasm and a little help from from your friends.
The soil looks deep and rich and the plants are thriving. I can't even spot a weed! Puts me to shame.
These three entries show the diversity of allotment growing nicely. The sheer joy even when things don't go quite to plan or as you expected!
The first, from Kevin Samways, really sums up allotmenting for me.
We grow our own mainly...
Unfortunately Andy didn't say where he was so not strictly a runner up - but an interesting set of photos showing his allotment developing . Separate beds are set into the grass. A lot of mowing though!
My allotment hasn't had too long....