Saturday, June 03, 2006
DS and I have just come back from our allotment, I don't know if you have them in the USA but here in the UK they are very sought after and I think they also have them in mainland Europe. They are plots of land which are split up into small allotments (about 1/8 of an acre each) which are rented out either by the local council or the allotment society so that people who live in cities and towns can grow their own flowers, fruit and vegetables. They are really, really cheap to rent - about £12 a year which is the equivalent of about $24. I think the idea started during the second world war, when growing enough food was so important. They are now really popular here with families and young people as well as older retired people who have more time to spend on them. Most allotments have big waiting lists, I have had mine for about 3 years but have to confess I haven't worked very hard on it this year for a variety of reasons. Luckily my Dad has helped out so it doesn't look too overgrown.
I have seen allotments in Austria and they are way different from our British ones - very, very neat with new sheds and fences all around them. The culture of allotments in the UK is a bit like quilting - making something out of scraps - and very utilitarian so most sheds are an odd assortment of planks and spare windows and we are not allowed to have fences around each plot. Hence the old planks you see in one of the pictures will have a purpose (probably to hold compost).
Growing at the moment in ours (top photo) we have strawberries, leeks, peas, runner beans, raspberries, potatoes and carrots (not doing much good at the moment though). I've also got a row of gladioli because I like to have flowers too.