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Why People Grow Our Own – Our Plots


From Carl Goss, Ipswich

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!

Tidy Allotment

The soil looks in excellent tilth now! Picture by Carl Goss

The Runners Up

Grow Your Own Competition - Burbage

Grow Your Own Competition - Burbage

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...
Grow Your Own Competition - Essex

Grow Your Own Competition - Essex

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. Gloria Says: My allotment to me is my little piece of heaven! It gives me respite from all...
Grow Your Own Competition - Exmouth

Grow Your Own Competition - Exmouth

Steven Coles grows on an allotment in Exmouth, Devon. A lovely climate if you don't mind the odd drop of rain! Steven says: 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...
Grow Your Own Competition - Kent

Grow Your Own Competition - Kent

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. Valerie says: Today I have finished digging my Allotment. I had 3 allotments in the 90s but work...
Grow Your Own Competition - Kilmarnock

Grow Your Own Competition - Kilmarnock

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. Fiona...
Grow Your Own Competition - Notable Entries

Grow Your Own Competition - Notable Entries

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. Kevin says: We grow our own mainly...
Grow Your Own Competition Entry

Grow Your Own Competition Entry

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! Andy says: My allotment hasn't had too long....


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